What is PCP and what are the effects, dose, and risks?

So if you use, buy, or sell the drug, you might face fines and jail time. All studies of Olney’s lesions have only been performed on non-human animals and may not apply to humans. Those with persistent behavioral problems or distressing psychological effects may need psychiatric evaluation and treatment for mental health problems. Coming down from it causes a numbing effect that can cause a person to become agitated and irrational.

  1. The effects of PCP earned it this classification alongside crack cocaine and Fentanyl.
  2. By 1967, the use of PCP was restricted to “veterinary use only,” and it rapidly gained popularity as an effective animal tranquilizer.
  3. The use of these hallucinogens can cause serious harm to you and the people around you.
  4. Illegal production of PCP began in the 1960s and it emerged as a recreational drug.
  5. The combo can cause your breathing to become dangerously slow and lead to respiratory arrest or coma.

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a synthetic dissociative hallucinogenic. It causes sensory perception distortions, hallucinations, unusual sights, sounds, and colors. Phencyclidine blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which are responsible for various functions such as learning, emotions, and pain sensations.

What Is PCP (Phencyclidine)? Facts, Effects, & Warnings Of Angel Dust Use

Moderate to high doses of PCP can cause symptoms of psychosis that mimic schizophrenia, even in people without a history of mental illness. This may include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. The psychiatric effects vary widely, but it is considered dangerous, and its use has been linked to violent and aggressive actions, psychosis, and a risk of accidental death. Phencyclidine (PCP) is a mind-altering drug that may lead to hallucinations (a profound distortion in a person’s perception of reality). It is considered a dissociative drug, leading to a distortion of sights, colors, sounds, self, and one’s environment.

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If a person ingests phencyclidine, symptoms may begin within 30–60 minutes. Scientists estimate the half-life of phencyclidine is 21 hours. The half-life of a drug is how long it takes for the body to reduce the amount of the drug by half in the bloodstream. The half-life can be shorter or longer based on how a person takes phencyclidine. PCP is used for its mind-altering effects and can be snorted, swallowed, or smoked.

If someone is worried they or someone else may have a phencyclidine or other substance use disorder, local hospitals and primary care doctors can provide resources and support. Phencyclidine toxicity can lead to severe, long-term complications and death. Effects can depend on various factors, such as the dose, frequency of use, and the form of phencyclidine. The sale of PCP became illegal in the United States in 1978.


You can also call 911 or the local emergency number or go to the hospital emergency room. At this time, there is no medicine that can help reduce the use of PCP by blocking its effects. It’s good to reach out to a support group of close family and friends, if you can. They can help you stick to your goals, avoid triggers, and keep you accountable during recovery. When you take a higher dose, it might cause you to have strange behaviors and postures, such as spasms that cause you to arch your back, head, and neck.

Scientists believe PCP blocks the normal actions of certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine, which may result in the feeling of euphoria. PCP also disrupts glutamate, which modulates pain, memory, and emotions. Supergrass, Killer Joints, and Fry Sticks are names used when phencyclidine is combined with marijuana and rolled into a cigarette (joint) for smoking.

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If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence. PCP is an anaesthetic and was designed to stop people feeling pain during operations. This is a mental condition that stops you from thinking clearly, telling the difference between reality and your imagination, and acting in a normal way. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information.

In a 2013 report, SAMHSA reported that overall emergency room visits related to PCP increased by more than 400% between 2005 and 2011. Treatment programs for PCP addiction may begin with medical 3 ways to pass a urine drug test detox, which ensures your safety through the withdrawal process. PCP is similar to other hallucinogens like LSD (acid) and ketamine, which change your perception of the world around you.

Healthcare providers don’t consider any amount of psychedelic drug use safe. PCP use often leads to emergency room visits due to overdose or because of the drug’s severe psychological effects. While intoxicated, PCP users may become violent or suicidal and are therefore dangerous to themselves and others. PCP toxicity is best managed by an interprofessional team that also includes emergency and intensive care nurses. The majority of patients require supportive treatment with close monitoring of hemodynamics.

Recurrent, fluctuating symptoms can occur because PCP is fat-soluble and can be released from lipid stores and adipose tissue that can occur days to months after the initial use. Phencyclidine may cause dependence, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms if a person stops using the drug. Seeking help from healthcare professionals and substance use treatment providers may help a person safely withdraw from phencyclidine and other substances.

It is suspected that a pre-existing psychotic disorder may increase the likelihood of toxic psychosis following PCP intoxication. It is also possible that other mental health conditions such as step 1 of aa: admitting you’re powerless over alcohol anxiety or depression could be exacerbated by PCP use. It has also been suggested that being prone to aggression could make PCP users more likely to exhibit violent behaviour while on PCP.

High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death (often due to accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication). Psychological effects at high doses include delusions and hallucinations. Users often refer to the experiences from hallucinogens as a “trip”, or calling an unpleasant experience a “bad trip.” Younger users try the drug to trigger its hallucinogenic effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some people abuse dissociative drugs like PCP hoping to improve their mental health. High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma and death.


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