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PCP Addiction

PCP, the abbreviation for phencyclidine, is a dangerous and powerful hallucinogen drug. If you take it, you will experience overpowering physical and psychoactive effects. Over time, you could also suffer addiction due to repeated use of this drug. Read on to find out more:

About PCP

PCP, or phencyclidine, is a dissociative hallucinogen chemical. It is often available in tablet, liquid, crystal, and powder form. However, it can also be smoked with laced marijuana or sold as one of the ingredients in tablets that are marketed as ecstasy.

When you abuse this dissociative drug, it will make you feel detached from your body. Over time, you may continue abusing it to feel the euphoric rush that it causes, to enhance your awareness, or to feel disconnected from your sense of reality. However, you need to realize that this drug is unlike other hallucinogens in the sense that it can be accompanied by life-threatening effects.

The drug also has a high risk of addiction. When you continue abusing it, you could end up struggling with tolerance, physical and psychological dependence, as well as compulsive substance abuse.

PCP can also cause you to experience changes in the levels of dopamine inside your brain. This chemical is essential to the natural reward and pleasure system of the brain. Therefore, when you continue taking the drug on a regular basis, you may suffer changes to how you feel motivation and pleasure. Over time, you could also start craving the substance.

If you are already dependent on PCP and you stop using it, you could experience uncomfortable and adverse withdrawal symptoms. As a result, you may be motivated to continue abusing the drug. This is because you would already have been addicted to the dissociative anesthetic that will cause you to experience:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Irrationality
  • Out of body experiences

Due to these and other effects, the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - has listed PCP as a schedule II chemical under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This effectively means that it comes with a high risk of substance abuse and could cause you to become dependent.

Other Names for PCP

On the streets, people who abuse, traffic, and sell PCP often refer to it by various names. This allows them to go undetected by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names for the drug include:

  • Amoeba
  • Angel dust
  • Animal trank
  • Belladonna
  • Black Dust
  • Boat
  • Cliffhanger
  • Crystal T
  • Dipper
  • Embalming Fluid
  • Goon Dust
  • Happy Sticks
  • Hog
  • Kools
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Magic Dust
  • Ozone
  • Peace Pill
  • Peter Pan
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Sherm sticks
  • Shermans
  • STP
  • Super grass
  • Tic Tac
  • Trank
  • Wack
  • Zoom

Signs and Symptoms of PCP Addiction

As we mentioned earlier, PCP is an addictive drug because of the impact it has on the chemical composition and function of the brain. After you ingest this drug, you may experience joy and changes in your perceptions of clear thought. Over time, you may also start displaying some of the classic signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Aggression
  • Altered state of existence
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Becoming overly empathetic
  • Chills
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Damage to the Central nervous system
  • Death
  • Dehydration
  • Deliriousness
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Disorientation
  • Distancing yourself from friends and family
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Exaggerated strength
  • Extreme fear
  • Extremely aggression
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feelings of superior strength
  • Flashbacks to hallucinations
  • Grandiosity
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Hypersensitivity to sound
  • Inability to control your intake of the drug
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in breathing rates
  • Invulnerability
  • Irritability
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Loss of reality
  • Mania
  • Memory loss
  • Mild hallucinations
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Physical distress
  • Poor coordination
  • Problems at work or school
  • Pseudo-spiritual experiences
  • Psychological distress
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Rapid respiration rate
  • Reacting to delusions
  • Reduced pain sensitivity
  • Respiratory arrest or distress
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Seizures
  • Sense of invulnerability
  • Sensory distortions
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suspicious attitude
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Violence
  • Vomiting

Short and Long-Term Effects of PCP Abuse

Ongoing PCP use will also be accompanied by a wide variety of side effects that will be different in the short and in the long term. This is because the drug will interfere with the glutamate neurotransmitter and various other aspects of your normal health and wellness. Some of the side effects that you can expect to experience while taking this drug include:

a) Short Term Effects

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Dangerous lack of inhibitions
  • Death
  • Delusions
  • Detachment from your environment
  • Dry mouth
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Enhanced sensory experiences
  • Euphoria
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast breathing rate
  • Feelings of invincibility and superhuman strength
  • Feelings of joy
  • Feelings of suspicion
  • Hallucinations
  • High body temperature
  • Impaired cognition
  • Impaired learning
  • Inability to feel pain even when seriously injured
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Intensified feelings
  • Irregular respiration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Mistrusting others
  • Mood disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Raised body temperature
  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Sense of invulnerability
  • Sleep problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Strength
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Sweating
  • Toxic overdose
  • Violence

b) Long Term Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Codependency
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Damage to your central nervous system
  • Death
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Difficulties with thought
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Fearful out of body experiences
  • Feelings of invincibility
  • Flashbacks
  • General drunken-like behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired decision making
  • Liver function abnormalities
  • Memory loss
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Numbness in the toes and hands
  • Paranoia
  • Partial or full anesthesia
  • Perceiving that you have power over others.
  • Persistent psychosis
  • Severe depression
  • Speech problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Violence
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weight loss

PCP Overdose

If you take PCP in high doses, there is a risk that you could suffer a drug overdose that could be accompanied by some, most, or all of the following symptoms:

  • Coma
  • Death
  • Delusions
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Paranoia
  • Schizophrenia symptoms
  • Seizures

This condition is considered to be serious because it comes with a high risk of death as a result of accidental injury or suicide. To this end, if you suspect that you may be overdosing on PCP, it is recommended that you call 911 or your local poisons control center as soon as possible.

PCP Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are already addicted to PCP and you suddenly reduce your normal dose or stop taking the drug altogether, you could experience some withdrawal symptoms - most of which could turn out to be painful and frightening. These symptoms may occur within 24 hours of your last dose of the drug and end up lasting up to 3 months particularly if you were severe addicted. They include but are not always limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Confused thoughts
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased cravings
  • Poor memory
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Violent behavior

The safest way to manage these withdrawal symptoms is by checking into a professional medically supervised detox program. This way, you will be able to cleanse your body of all the resultant toxins from this drug, so that you can get started on your way to full recovery.

The Best Options for PCP Addiction Treatment

There are many wide ranging effects of ongoing PCP abuse, tolerance, dependence, and addiction. However, you need to realize that it is possible for you to recover from your growing substance use disorder. You just need to check into an accredited addiction treatment and rehabilitation center.

Often, you would have to go through a medically supervised detox program so that you can get rid of all traces of the drug from your system. Through such a program, you will also be able to overcome your physical dependence and PCP cravings.

After the detox process has proved successful, you can make the transition to inpatient and/or outpatient drug rehab. Through this process, you will benefit from a wide variety of therapy and counseling sessions designed to help you overcome your psychological, emotional, and behavioral dependence on PCP.

Over the long term, ongoing substance abuse treatment can help you reduce and completely stop taking this drug. It is recommended that you seek such treatment as soon as you realize that you have a PCP use problem.


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