PCP (phencyclidine) is a “dissociative drug” which was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but it was discontinued for human use because it caused patients to become agitated, delusional, and irrational. PCP distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self. PCP is no longer produced, legally, except for research purposes and the availability of PCP on the street comes from illegal and clandestine production.
PCP comes in powder, liquid, and pill forms which can be taken orally, snorted, intravenous injected or most commonly applied to leafy materials such as tobacco or marijuana and then smoked. There are many street names for PCP such as “Angel Dust”, “Boat”, and “Wet” and because it is such a popular drug to abuse, there are numerous other names for PCP when combined with other substances. PCP has been found in pills combined with other illegal substances and has been sold as popular hallucinogens such as Ecstasy, MDMA, mescaline and LSD.
Repeated use of PCP causes addiction because users enjoy the feelings of “strength, power, and invulnerability as well as a numbing effect on the mind that PCP can induce”, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. PCP causes hallucinations, mood disorders, delusions, acute anxiety, paranoia, and other psychosis resembling schizophrenia and a PCP addict never knows whether they will have a good ”trip” or a bad “trip” making them violent or dangerous to themselves or others.
Seeking Help for PCP Addiction
PCP addiction requires intervention to get the person through detox from PCP. The first step involves a safe detox program which is usually administered in a hospital or inpatient setting where the PCP addict can be monitored during the withdrawal process. They may suffer severe symptoms of central nervous system damage, seizures, coma, memory loss, and confusion, lack of impulse control, anxiety, depression, violent episodes of psychosis, or suicidal tendencies. Getting the help from professionals who understand PCP addiction and can provide the proper resources including medical treatment is essential. Ongoing recovery requires behavioral therapies and can be accomplished through an outpatient or inpatient setting.
The following resources may be beneficial when seeking help for PCP Addiction:
- Contact your physician or the local hospital for references to qualified PCP treatment facilities
- Verify the facility is licensed, registered, and approved for PCP addiction treatment through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment facility locator
- Contact religious and non-profit organizations or other agencies who may sponsor or be affiliated with PCP or other substance abuse treatment programs
- Get referral information from people who have undergone PCP treatment
- Online information is readily available for exploring possible programs
- Related Articles