PCP is a particularly addictive substance, unlike many other hallucinogens. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “People who stop repeated use of PCP experience drug cravings, headaches, and sweating as common withdrawal symptoms,” and overdose is a serious possible side effect of high levels of PCP abuse. So how is PCP addiction treated?
Immediate Care and Overdose Treatment for PCP
When a person comes to a hospital during a PCP intoxication, they will require careful monitoring until their symptoms begin to subside. Temperature is important and should be monitored at all times, and sedation with medication may be necessary if the individual’s delirium becomes severe and compromises the safety of the individual or the medical staff.
In less severe cases, the individual may be brought to a room where light, sound, and other stimuli can be controlled and minimized in order to reduce the severity of their reactions.
The patient will also be asked about their recent drug abuse, if they can answer questions at this particular time, and the medical staff will attempt to create a treatment program that will benefit their needs. However, the most important aspect of their immediate care is to ensure that the individual is safe and stable.
Behavioral therapy is usually the crux of PCP addiction treatment to be started when the individual is more stable and able to gain the benefits of therapy. Because there is no official medication approved by the FDA to treat PCP addiction, the individual will need to rely mostly on this therapy, which can:
- Help the patient view their addiction and drug abuse in a new, more beneficial way
- Teach the individual ways to better cope with stresses and other issues in order to minimize the chance of a relapse
- Allow the individual to learn how to identify and avoid triggers, cravings, and other problems that would lead to relapse
- Create scenarios for the individual to consider and learn how to react to in order to prepare them for living life in recovery
Behavioral therapy can also help with hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and persistent psychosis, which are two possible serious, long-term side effects of PCP abuse (NIDA). Cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management are two options that can be beneficial to PCP addicts, and group therapy can also be extremely helpful.
Though there is no specific FDA-approved medication to treat PCP addiction, certain pharmacological options are available to help facilitate recovery. Antidepressants can be helpful toward those who are going through PCP addiction treatment, and other medications may be used as well.
Depending on the particular patient and their needs, a doctor may prescribe a medication to make attending behavioral therapy easier and to allow the individual to make the kind of change they want in their life.
Do You Need Addiction Treatment for PCP?
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