PCP is one of the few hallucinogens that causes addiction when abused regularly. Individuals who are addicted to PCP often exhibit serious mental and physical issues that can be extremely harmful. Therefore, it is very important that a patient receives quick access to safe, beneficial treatment after abusing and becoming addicted to PCP.
Professional Care and Treatment
It is extremely necessary that an individual who has abused PCP to the point of addiction receives professional treatment in a rehab center or hospital. Inpatient care may often be necessary as well, as PCP causes serious long-term effects when abused, such as “toxic psychosis,” aggressive and hostile behavior, hallucinations, social withdrawal, isolation, severe anxiety, depression, flashbacks, stuttering, etc. (Center for Substance Abuse Research).
In many cases, individuals who are brought in for treatment are still intoxicated, and this can be serious, even if it is the patient’s first time taking PCP. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “Vital signs need to be monitored for laryngeal stridor or respiratory depression and a respirator may be required.” Therefore, a currently intoxicated and/or addicted patient will be in need of inpatient care in most cases and certainly in need of treatment in a professional rehab center.
It is also important to note that you should not attempt to talk to or coerce an individual who is high on PCP, as this can be very dangerous. Loved ones should absolutely leave intoxication, withdrawal, and addiction treatment for this substance in the hands of professionals.
Behavioral Therapy for Dual Diagnosis and Polydrug Abuse
Once the individual has been treated for PCP intoxication and/or withdrawal, their addiction to the drug can begin to be treated. Many individuals benefit from behavioral therapy for other drug abuse syndromes, and it is especially important that PCP addicts receive therapy that focuses on all the possible issues associated with this syndrome.
As PCP users often abuse other drugs as well, there is a strong likelihood that the individual will have issues with polydrug abuse and addiction. The counselor must treat them for their addiction to any other drugs, as well as for any trauma, mental disorders, or other co-occurring issues they may have. Dual diagnosis among PCP addicts is extremely common, and the counseling sessions should work to uncover the reasons behind the individual’s choice to abuse PCP and treat those underlying issues as well.
Accurate Treatment Lengths
PCP has a severe addiction syndrome that is not easily treated, nor are the consequences of the syndrome easily managed. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, “Long-term use of PCP can lead to memory loss, difficulty with speech or thought, depression, and weight loss. These problems can persist for up to a year after tan individual has stopped using PCP.” Issues associated with cravings and psychosis can linger as well. Therefore, it may be necessary for the individual to attend treatment for a longer period than the minimum 90 days so that each issue can be identified and safely treated before they leave inpatient care.
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