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PCP, short for phencyclidine , is a hallucinogen and a dissociative drug, which means that the user may feel disconnected from themselves, or an “out-of-body” experience. It was first used as an anesthetic, but it was discontinued because it had side effects that caused delusions and agitation. When PCP is taken and abused in high doses, it can cause aggression and violent behavior in users.
Abusers of PCP can immediately feel the effects of the drug by snorting or smoking it. The effects of PCP last from four to six hours. When PCP is taken in a pill form or in capsules, effects are felt 30 to 60 minutes after taking it. When this method is used, the effects of PCP can last for 6 hours, with the possibility of lasting an entire day.
PCP comes in white or colored powder, which can be mixed with alcohol or water. “Wet” PCP can come dissolved in a tincture or vanilla extract bottle that looks like it contains yellow oil. On the streets, PCP may also look tan or brown.
PCP can be taken in the form of a powder, liquid, crystal, or tablet. It’s often sprinkled on marijuana joints. “Wet” PCP can also be dissolved in liquid and soaked into cigarettes, so it can be smoked discreetly.
People use PCP because it’s a hallucinogen that creates a distortion in perception and sensations. Hallucination and delusions can create visual and auditory experiences as well as “out-of-body,” or dissociative experiences.
PCP was first synthesized in the 1920s under the name Sernyl. In the 1950s, it was used as a surgical intravenous anesthetic. It’s used in veterinary practices, but it isn’t given to people anymore because of its bad side effects. Just 15 years later, PCP was discontinued in clinical trials with humans due to the drug causing delusions, severe anxiety, and agitation.
It continued to be manufactured illegally in the 1960s and became known as “The PeaCe Pill.” It became widely popular in the late 70s, where it was snorted and smoked for an immediate high. Today, abusers of PCP dip cigarettes or marijuana joints in dissolved PCP so they can discreetly smoke the drug and get a high from both PCP and marijuana.
If your loved one has a PCP addiction, you may notice a change in their personality. They may have schizophrenic and psychotic symptoms, such as hearing voices and talking to themselves or inanimate objects for long periods of time. While on PCP, a rise in body temperature may cause them to remove their clothing. They may also become violent toward others. Even when they aren’t on PCP, addicts can hear “voices” telling them to commit crimes and other violent acts.
Don’t Let Addiction Control You
In small doses, PCP can create a trance-like effect and feelings of out-of-body experiences. When taken in large doses, PCP addiction can also adversely affect others. PCP can make users violent or suicidal. Because it is a dissociative drug, the brain can’t detect pain in the body. It’s possible for users to have a blackout experience when they are getting into legal trouble. They may also not be able to tell doctors about broken bones until after the anesthetic has worn off.
Americans admitted to using PCP at least once in 2019.
increase in ER visits involving PCP from 2011 to 2020.
Most common age group for abusers of PCP.
After detox, PCP addicts may continue to have occasional psychotic episodes, which can be helped with mood-stabilizing medication. If you or your loved one has another drug addiction, our staff at Gratitude Lodge will help you detox from PCP and other substances. PCP addicts will receive therapy after medication to make their transition back into sobriety easier.
At Gratitude Lodge, we offer inpatient residential rehabilitation services in Long Beach and Newport Beach after detox. With medical staff available 24/7, you or your loved one can safely continue on the road to recovery. We have individualized counseling, group therapy, and 12-step recovery programs to provide recovering addicts with coping mechanisms and tools for a successful recovery. We have a trained staff that is well-versed in treating PCP addiction and dual diagnoses.
PCP is commonly sprinkled onto and mixed with other substances. Abusers commonly use “wet” PCP, where one dips joints and cigarettes into a water mixture with dissolved PCP. Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin continue to be involved in numerous emergency department-related cases. PCP is also commonly paired with LSD, MDMA, and mushrooms to achieve a full distortion of the senses.
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