Phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP, is a dissociative, hallucinogenic drug first developed as an intravenous anesthetic. Its medical use was discontinued due to severe negative side effects in patients awaking from anesthesia. In the 1960s it was introduced as a street drug; it is also referred to as Angel Dust, Hog, Ozone, Rocket Fuel, Shermans, Wack, Crystal and Embalming Fluid. PCP is sometimes combined with marijuana. This combination is known as Killer Joints, Super Grass, Fry, Lovelies, Wets, and Waters.
PCP has dissociative effects; it cause a person to feel removed from reality, at a distance from their own senses, ego, and behavior. It often leads to violent, aggressive and suicidal behavior, making PCP users a danger to themselves and others. PCP also causes severe mood swings, increased anxiety and symptoms that mimic schizophrenia, including hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
In low doses, PCP causes numbness in the body’s extremities, loss of coordination, rapid and shallow breathing, increased blood pressure and pulse, and sweating. In high doses, it can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, pulse, and breathing, as well as drooling, dizziness, imbalance, nausea, vomiting, and rapid up and down movement of the eyes. Because of these depressant effects, PCP in large doses can be especially dangerous when combined with other depressants such as alcohol.
Unlike some other hallucinogens, PCP is addictive, marked by increased tolerance and compulsive, drug-seeking behavior. Long term use can lead to memory loss, difficulty with speech and thinking, weight loss, and depression. These effects can last up to a year after a person has stopped using PCP.
Serenity House offers residential and outpatient treatment for a wide variety of addictions, including addiction to PCP. Our expert medical staff can help you safely detox from PCP use, and our licensed drug and alcohol abuse counselors will work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan to help you find true recovery.