PCP, also called phencyclidine, is a drug that was developed in the 1950s for use as an anesthetic. Medical professionals soon discontinued use of this drug due to the erratic side effects that patients had following its use. Many patients experienced psychotic reactions when given PCP for medical purposes and as such, medical use of this drug was immediately discontinued. It was not until much later that people, mainly those taking PCP for recreational purposes, learned that the drug was addictive.
What is PCP Addiction?
PCP addiction is the result of using PCP repeatedly or for a prolonged period of time. The addiction mostly comes in the form of cravings and compulsive PCP seeking behaviors. Users who consistently use PCP are likely to experience various adverse side effects associated with addiction and may require professional help when they decide it’s time to quit.
To learn more about PCP abuse and addiction, call 800-592-1193 (Who Answers?) .
Effects of PCP Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, taking PCP has a wide range of effects. Like other hallucinogens, PCP can cause adverse reactions that are unreliable at best. Some users will experience a “good” high while others may experience a very “bad” high. Even the same user taking PCP on more than one occasion is likely to experience more than one outcome and could experience a high that is quite different from one PCP use to the next.
This drug has a wide range of health effects on the user. It causes an increase in blood pressure and a heartbeat that can lead to heart attack if the drug is taken in large doses. Shallow breathing, numbness of the arms and legs and a wide range of side effects related to loss of coordination are also like when taking PCP.
Taking high doses of PCP can produce an immediate drop in blood pressure which can lead to death. If the pulse and breathing rates drop to significantly, serious long-term consequences may occur for the user resulting in potential brain damage. PCP also has the ability to cause nausea and vomiting, drooling and an overall loss of coordination. The user may fall or trip when walking, may be unable to walk or may experience injury when attempting to perform regular routines.
Some users will become erratic and act out when under the influence of PCP. Violence and suicidal thoughts are two very common outcomes when taking PCP. When a user experiences aggressive side effects while using PCP, they are more like to get involved in fighting or other irrational behaviors that can pose serious risks to their own health as well as to the health of others.
Effects of PCP on the Brain
Not only is PCP addiction a likely outcome for a recreational user, consistent use of this drug can lead to a number of permanent problems particularly in the user’s brain. The effects that PCP can have on the brain include:
- Psychotic symptoms
- Schizophrenia symptoms
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
- Permanent speech impairment
- Elevated anxiety
- Compulsive behaviors
- Thought disturbances
Symptoms of PCP Addiction
So, how can you tell if someone is suffering from PCP addiction? This synthetic drug can cause a wide range of addiction symptoms most notably the cravings and erratic PCP-seeking behavior. PCP abuse can also lead to a number of physical symptoms that signify the need for help. User who are addicted to PCP will develop an increased tolerance to the drug and will soon need more and more of the drug in order to produce the same high that they felt when they first started using it.
Tolerance is the very first sign of addiction, but many other symptoms of PCP addiction may also present in a case where an individual is suffering from this disease. PCP abuse can lead to memory loss, kidney failure, coma and death so it’s important to seek immediate help if you or someone you know may be suffering from an addiction to this dangerous hallucinogenic drug.
If a user tries to quit taking PCP and experiences cravings, depression, memory loss or other serious side effects, they are likely suffering from PCP withdrawal. Withdrawal is another sure sign of PCP addiction and a true sign that there is a need for serious help. Left untreated, PCP addiction can be a deadly disease, but without help withdrawal will often cause the user to resort back to previous instances of drug abuse no matter how hard he or she tries to quit and to remain sober.
PCP Addiction Treatment
There is help for PCP addiction. Treatment consists of safe PCP detox followed by around-the-clock monitoring and supportive care to help the user get his or her life back on track. Counseling and therapy work well to provide a sense of comfort, education and stability for the newly recovering PCP addiction and family involvement and support can also be very beneficial. In order to safely recover, those who suffer from PCP addiction must work hard toward the goal of recovery but with the right assistance, counseling and therapy, a healthy lifestyle is possible.
If you or someone you love is addicted to PCP, call our toll-free helpline at 800-592-1193 (Who Answers?) to be connected with treatment options.
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