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A Brief History of PCP and Current PCP Street Names

Nowadays, most every type of illicit drug has its own street lingo with colorful names to designate the various drugs within any one group. Likewise, regular PCP users well know PCP street names and the various definitions that go with them.

This line of jargon makes it especially difficult for parents and loved ones to recognize PCP use in their midst. As frequent users can easily talk about drug transactions in front of unsuspecting others, developing a familiarity with PCP street names can come in handy.

History of PCP & the First PCP Street Name

PCP, first marketed in the 1950’s under the brand name Sernyl, started out as an anesthetic for use on humans as well as a tranquilizer agent for use on animals. By the mid 1960’s, PCP’s medical uses were discontinued altogether due to the side effects the drug produced as the drug wore off, according to the University of Maryland. Side effects observed include extreme anxiety, delusions and agitation.

PCP abuse practices didn’t start until the 1960s with most all manufacturing taking place in clandestine laboratories. Commonly distributed in pill form at the time, the name, PeaCe Pill became the very first PCP street name. In turn, the first PCP street name eventually gave way to today’s name, PCP.

By the 1970s, PCP abuse rates peaked as users started smoking and snorting the drug in powdered form. These methods produced a more immediate and intense “high” effect, which accounted for its rise in popularity during this time.

Today, PCP appears in crystal, powder, capsule, tablet and liquid forms with prices ranging anywhere from $20 to $30 per gram of powder to $200 to $300 per ounce of liquid. Since the 1960s, PCP street names have come to reflect the various drug forms and methods of use over time.

PCP Effects

PCP’s ability to produce mind-altering effects accounts for its ongoing use as a recreational drug. PCP belongs to the dissociative class of hallucinogens, best known for the overall “disconnect” a person experiences (from the outside world) when using these drugs.

In effect, the drug blocks incoming sensory input from reaching the part of the brain that processes this information. In doing so, the mind is free to create its own reality via hallucinations and “make-believe” sensory perceptions. Many of today’s PCP street names reflect this dissociative experience in various ways.

As a hallucinogen drug, PCP or phencyclidine (its chemical name) effects can be quite unpredictable from one use to the next. PCP works by interfering with glutamate production processes in the brain. Glutamate, a primary neurotransmitter chemical, plays a central role in regulating:

  • Emotion-based perceptions and responses
  • Learning processes
  • Memory functions
  • Pain perception

This drug also interferes with dopamine production, another primary neurotransmitter chemical. PCP decreases glutamate production processes, and thereby “disconnects” the brain from sensory input, while increasing dopamine production, which accounts for the feelings of euphoria users experience. PCP street names often depict the overall effects the drug produces.

PCP Uses & Culture

PCP use saw an overall decline in the 1990s, but has since then slightly increased. Smoking has become the most common usage method in today’s drug culture.

Smoking methods include saturating any number of leafy materials with PCP, some of which include:

  • Oregano
  • Marijuana
  • Parsley
  • Tobacco
  • Mint

According to the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the majority of PCP users fall within the high school and young adult population groups. Between the years 2010 and 2012, PCP use among high school students increased from one percent in 2010 to 1.3 percent in 2011 with a slight decline to .9 percent in 2012.

Overall, an estimated 2.4 percent of the U. S. population reported using PCP at least once in their lifetime. Not surprisingly, PCP street names are coined by high school students and young adults, the most predominant usage groups.

PCP Street Names

PCP street names paint a vivid depiction of the wide range of “high” effects this drug produces. PCP “high” effects include:

  • Inability to feel physical pain
  • Intense aggression
  • Warped sense of time and space
  • Body distortions, such as feeling weightless or lopsided
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Feeling numb
  • Intense feelings of elation or euphoria
  • Total calm

Comparison-wise, commonly used PCP street names include:

  • Angel dust
  • Embalming fluid
  • Ozone
  • Wack
  • Rocket fuel
  • Hog
  • Cliffhanger
  • Happy Sticks
  • Goon dust
  • Trank
  • Peter Pan
  • Lethal weapon
  • Kools

PCP Street Names When Combined with Other Drugs

Within today’s drug culture, combining PCP with other drugs has become common practice. Drugs likely to be combined with PCP include MDMA, formaldehyde, mescaline, ketamine, LSD, THC and methamphetamine.

PCP street names for combination varieties go by:

  • Organe pokemon
  • Loveboat
  • Purpole tear drops
  • Green kryptonite

Likewise, PCP street names for marijuana/PCP and tobacco/PCP combinations abound, some of which include:

  • Dipper
  • Fry
  • Illy
  • Waters
  • Wets
  • Super grass
  • Lovelies
  • Killer joints

Disguising PCP and selling it under different drug names also takes place on a regular basis. For instance, pills sold as ecstasy and MDMA may well contain large quantities of PCP.

PCP Dangers

While PCP street names may seem fun and engaging, the drug itself carries certain serious safety risks. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, large doses of PCP can induce dangerous psychological states of mind, such as:

  • Suicidal tendencies and behaviors
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Violent outbursts
  • Engaging in dangerous activities, such as jumping off a building due to feelings of invincibility brought on by the drug

PCP also takes a toll on the brain’s ability to maintain normal bodily functions. Consequently, large dosage amounts can cause coma, seizures and even death.

PCP Street Name Use: Considerations

PCP belongs to the Schedule II class of controlled substances, most of which carry a high risk for abuse and addiction. Someone who uses PCP on a frequent basis will likely know and use PCP street names on a frequent basis. Chronic and/or long-term use of PCP sets the stage for physical dependency, withdrawal syndromes and eventually addiction to take hold.

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