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What is PCP?

PCP is a crystalline white powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol used and was used as an intravenous anesthetic in veterinary medicine in the 60’s. PCP is also known under trade names such as Sernyl and Sernylan. PCP was developed in the 1950’s as an intravenous anesthetic. Use of PCP in humans was discontinued in 1965, because it was found that patients often became agitated, delusional, and irrational while recovering from its anesthetic effects. PCP is still used as a veterinary tranquilizer and is also illegally manufactured in laboratories.

What are the street names for PCP?

Angel dust, ozone, wack, hog, horse tranquilize, rocket fuel. It is called killer joint and crystal super grass when it is combined with marijuana.

Is PCP Addictive?

PCP is addictive, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It will cause craving and compulsive PCP seeking behavior. Hospital emergency rooms get more than their fair share of PCP abusers who have overdosed or attempted suicide while high. These patients can often turn nasty and violent towards themselves and others. PCP is usually classified as a hallucinogen. However, it also has the effects of a stimulant, an anesthetic, or a narcotic pain-killer, depending on how much is taken. PCP has powerful and unpredictable hallucinogenic properties. As a result, individual PCP episodes can vary greatly. Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms because of its unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdose. Continued PCP use can lead to psychological dependence, as well as tolerance.

How is PCP used?

It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. It can be mixed easily with dyes and turns up on the illicit drug market in a variety of tablets, capsules, colored powders, and liquids. It is sometimes sold to unsuspecting users as LSD, mescaline, or other hallucinogens. PCP is typically taken by the oral ingestion of tablets or capsules containing the powdered form. It is also commonly sniffed or smoked in combination with marijuana or tobacco.

What are the physical side effects of PCP?

PCP causes signs and symptoms that differ according to the amount taken. Low doses produce signs like shallow breathing, flushing, profuse sweating, numbness of extremities and a loss of muscular co-ordination. High doses cause the blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate to drop. There may be nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, drooling, dizziness, loss of balance and seizures that have the potential to lead to coma and even death.

What are the mental effects of PCP?

PCP abusers are also prone to symptoms similar to those experienced by people with schizophrenia. They may suffer from delusions, paranoia, disordered thinking and catatonia. They may speak in a garbled fashion and experience a severe sense of alienation from their environment.

What are the long term effects of using PCP?

Prolonged use of PCP can cause memory loss, depression, difficulties with ordered speech and thinking and weight loss. These problems can take up to a year to dissipate. There may also be persistent problems with mood disorders following a period of PCP abuse.