Speak to an Addiction Specialist

(208) 906-0782

  Call 24/7 For Help

The Dangers of PCP Use and Abuse

PCP use and abuse has been on the rise for decades. This is a dissociative drug that has been around since the 1950s. While it might have had innocent and useful beginnings, today, it is frequently used for its euphoric effects.

If you currently use PCP, you need to know the dangers of abusing this drug. Abusing it means that you are at risk of forming an addiction. You may not have thought that was possible, or you could have thought it couldn't happen to you. So many addicts discover the truth the hard way.

It will benefit you to learn as much about PCP as you can. Here, you can find out what this drug really is, how it can affect you, and if you're at risk for addiction.

Do You Have Questions About Addiction? Call Our Recovery Experts Now.

The History of PCP: What is This Drug, Exactly?

According to Wikipedia, there have been some false reports on the earliest creation of PCP. Some sources say that the drug was synthesized in 1926, and this information is not accurate. It was discovered at Parke-Davis in Michigan by a chemist named Victor Maddox. He was researching synthetic analgesics at the time.

When this drug was isolated, it was submitted for testing, which led to early, promising results.

After that, it was developed quickly and used as an investigational drug. As an anesthetic, it was given the brand names of Sernylan and Sernyl in the 1950s. However, its adverse effects caused it to be removed from the market in 1965.

The use of this drug actually declined in the early 1990s. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in its use.

Other Names and Street Names

This drug's chemical name is phencyclidine. However, on the street, it also goes by a number of different names. People can buy it under the street names:

  • Angel Dust
  • Supergrass
  • Boat
  • TicTac
  • Shermans
  • Zoom
  • Embalming Fluid

This substance is often combined with other drugs to enhance its effects. Most often, users will dip marijuana cigarettes into liquid phencyclidine. It can also be used with tobacco cigarettes. The resulting drug is known as a "dipper" on the street.

Angel Dust Drug Effects

Angel dust is known for the different effects it can cause. In fact, it can act as a stimulant, depressant or hallucinogen drug. One of the things that makes it so popular is the fact that it's not predictable at all.

PCP Addiction

Having said that, you should know that there are both psychological and physical consequences to using angel dust. These vary depending on:

  • The method of use
  • The dose of the drug you're using
  • How often you use
  • How long you have been abusing it
  • The specific ingredients included

The fact is that this is a drug that's manufactured illegally. That means that you can't be sure what's in it. It may be cut with other drugs or substances that can have additional effects on the body and mind.

Phencyclidine can be hallucinogenic in nature, but it can have physical effects on you as well. These can include:

  • Problems with coordination
  • The loss of ability to feel pain
  • Red, or even bloodshot eyes
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Frequent chills
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • The loss of sensation or feeling

There are decidedly more psychological effects associated with PCP. It's not that these effects are more serious, necessarily. However, the list is much longer due to the nature of the drug.

If you're abusing PCP, you will experience:

  • Acute bouts of anxiety
  • Feeling detached or depersonalization
  • Distorting images and sound
  • Problems with talking and slurred speech
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Anger and agitation
  • Feeling confused and disoriented
  • The onset of delusions
  • Extreme memory loss
  • Feelings of doom
  • Paranoia or psychosis

At times, people who abuse this drug will also try to injure themselves. They may also become violent toward other people.

The effects of phencyclidine will begin very quickly after the drug is taken, depending on the method of administration. Some of the short-term effects of the drug are pleasant, which is why people continue to take it.

The short-term effects are:

  • Feeling relaxed and physically and emotionally numb
  • A sensation of euphoria
  • Unexpected and odd behaviors
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with motor coordination

Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia can typically result with higher doses of phencyclidine.

Of course, if the drug is used for a long time, certain long-term effects can result from that. They can include:

  • Significant speech problems
  • Severe depression, which can involve suicidal thoughts
  • Increased anxiety and possible panic attacks
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Problems with making decisions
  • Delusional thinking and hallucinations even when not high

Some of the effects may continue for as long as 12 months after the drug has been stopped. Also, some may not be reversible due to the way the substance damages the brain.

Most Major Insurance Plans Accepted

Many insurance companies will cover 100% of the cost of outpatient treatment. Call today and find out if your plan qualifies. We can also help with financing. (208) 906-0782


Verify Insurance

What is PCP Drug Abuse?

People who abuse PCP are generally only doing so for the quick high they get. They're doing it for recreational purposes, and not because they feel compelled to use. They generally don't crave the drug at all, and they don't feel the need to use every day. In fact, it's possible to go months at a time without even thinking about it.

However, even one use of this drug is abuse because it is illegal, according the U.S. Department of Justice. Ongoing PCP abuse can potentially lead to an addiction, unless it is stopped.

The Global Information Network About Drugs (GINAD) tells us that:

  • In the 70s and 80s, there are more than 30 different compounds of this drug in existence.
  • In the 80s, about 13% of high school students reported trying this drug.
  • By 1990, that number had gone down to 3%.
  • In 2008, one survey reported that 6.6 million people in the U.S. had tried PCP.
  • This is about 2.7% of the population.
  • Close to 100,000 of these individuals admitted to having used it in 2007.
  • By 2009, that number had increased to 122,000.
  • In 2008, there were more than 37,000 emergency room visits because of this drug.

Angel dust is a drug that is made illegally. That means exact dosages or ingredients are often hard to come by. Even if you think you know what your dose contains, it's hard to be sure.

There are serious risks associated with abusing this drug, and these are in addition to its effects. Higher doses of this hallucinogenic drug can result in:

  • The onset of seizures or convulsions
  • Going into a coma
  • The risk of accidental injury
  • The risk of accidental suicide
  • Death by intoxication

The PCP Experience: What it Feels Like to be High

According to online drug forums like Bluelight, Reddit and Erowid, PCP is the best high. They state that it's much better than other drugs in its class (such as Ketamine and Mushrooms). They also have the angel dust stories to back up their claims.

Users are quick to talk about the high including feeling strong and invincible. There are stories of hallucinations and delusions that aren't quick to go away. The euphoria is unlike any other drug.

They also talk about having strange experiences, when they're able to remember them. There are true stories of people claiming to climb into polar bears' caves to take pictures. Users may feel certain that they can fly, and so, they jump out of windows or off cliffs. Bizarre behavior is typical with PCP.

There are also many stories involving this drug that are violent in nature. Cannibalism has occurred in some cases, as has murder. It's certainly a drug that should be avoided at all costs.

According to Erowid, the high from phencyclidine may last between 4 to 6 hours, on average, when smoked. It begins in as little as 2 to 20 minutes. At about the 2 to 3 hour mark, it will plateau, and then decrease over the next few hours.

The aftereffects of this drug may last for 24 hours or more. However, people generally don't experience any type of hangover symptoms.

Angel dust comes in a powdered form that can be dissolved in water or alcohol. It can appear in liquid form, and it often does. Users can take it in any number of ways. PCP can be:

  • Eaten
  • Swallowed in a capsule or tablet
  • Smoked, along with a leafy material like marijuana
  • Injected
  • Snorted

No matter how it is taken, angel dust is very dangerous, as you can see. Even low doses can have profound physical and mental health effects in some people.

Is a Phencyclidine Addiction Possible?

Yes, it is possible to become addicted to phencyclidine, and many people do. The problem is that most individuals don't realize that they're addicted. However, repeated abuse of this drug is very likely to end this way.

Research has shown that phencyclidine does produce tolerance, cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These are all indicators that an addiction is present.

You may be someone who is questioning whether or not you're addicted to PCP. If you've been using for quite some time, the abuse of phencyclidine has likely led to addiction. However, it can be quite helpful to know what signs you should be looking for.

Some common PCP addiction symptoms include:

  • Experiencing anxiety and depression
  • A feeling like you are invulnerable or invincible
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Trouble trying to quit using the drug
  • Finding that you need to use more of it as time goes on
  • Problems at work, school, or within your personal relationships

It's important for you to understand your relationship to angel dust. Maybe you've looked over the above symptoms, but you're still not sure. It can help to ask someone you trust if they think you're an addict. You can also opt for a free phone assessment to find out what a professional recommends in your situation.

It is possible that you're not ready to talk with anyone yet about your drug use. If that's the case, it's OK. You can start by taking a quiz to determine if you're an addict.

This addiction quiz is excellent because it asks you very personal questions about your drug use. It's important to be honest as you answer each question. When you finish, you'll get a recommendation that will guide you your next steps.

Why Professional Treatment of PCP Addiction is What You Need

Angel dust is a very difficult drug to quit on your own. You will certainly benefit by getting professional support. Withdrawal can be very hard on you, both physically and mentally. Most people find that in order to successfully recover, they need the assistance of a formal rehab program.

When you go through withdrawal from this substance, it's very difficult to deal with. Symptoms of withdrawal from PCP may include:

  • Feeling tense
  • Having hallucinations
  • Becoming easily agitated
  • Having an irrational sense of fear or worry
  • Muscle twitching or even breakdown, in some cases
  • Excessive weight loss
  • An increase in your body temperature
  • The onset of seizures

Anytime you stop using a drug, you put yourself at risk of relapsing. Quitting cold turkey makes those risks even higher. This is because you don't have the benefit of professional support to help prevent it.

At the very least, relapsing on PCP is going to reinforce the idea that you need this drug. What you're actually doing is contributing to the cycle of abuse or addiction. However, the outcome could be much worse.

Because of decreasing tolerance levels, you could accidentally overdose on this drug after a relapse. This is how most relapses take place. It's also why cold turkey quitting without treatment is never a good idea.

If you overdose on phencyclidine, this is a medical emergency. You need to get immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of overdosing on this drug include:

  • Becoming very agitated
  • Going into convulsions
  • Extremely high blood pressure
  • Having hallucinations or psychosis
  • Uncontrolled body movements
  • Entering into a catatonic trance
  • Going into a coma

What is PCP Rehab Like?

You'll find that going to a PCP rehab is probably much different than you think it will be. The atmosphere should be welcoming and inviting. Everyone there will be focused on helping you get better and heal from your addiction.

You're likely to experience a few different types of treatment. Of course, this will vary, based on your addiction and on your needs.

You may need to go through a period of drug detox. This will help toxins to be flushed from your body. Detoxifying your body aids in the physical side of your addiction. It can help you get through the withdrawal period much faster. Also, there are ways that your withdrawal symptoms can be easily controlled through detox.

You should receive a treatment plan that's unique to you. Your addiction is very personal, which is why a personal treatment plan is necessary. Even so, you may find that it includes:

  • Individual addiction counseling
  • Family therapy and counseling
  • Peer counseling
  • Nutrition and physical fitness activities
  • Relapse prevention planning

Your Recovery From Angel Dust Addiction is Waiting For You

Here at Ashwood Recovery, we know that there's no time to waste if you're addicted to PCP. Angel dust is a very dangerous drug, and you need help right away. We want you to know that we're here for you. Our services are available to assist you with all of your recovery needs.

It's very challenging to admit that you're an addict. However, those who are able to take that step soon find out that it's rewarding as well. Great freedom awaits you as soon as you contact us. We can provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice for you.

Do you have additional questions about PCP abuse that need to be answered? We can do that for you as well. Simply reach out to us, and we'll help you right away.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(208) 906-0782 Contact Us