PCP was initially introduced in United States of America during 1950s, as an anesthetic to be used in a hospital environment. Despite initially being judged safe for use, it was quickly discontinued due to the severe and dangerous side effects experienced by the patients following administration. PCP is a hallucinogenic and a synthetic dissociative drug – this means that it makes you feel detached from yourself, and distorts your perceptions of reality, time and self. Due to sometimes-volatile side effects of PCP abuse, it is important that rehabilitation should only be attempted within Drug Rehab Centers under expert supervision. Detoxification from PCP can be dangerous and should not be performed without medical supervision. It has many street names, but is most commonly known as ‘’angel dust’’. It is available in a variety of forms, not limited to capsules and tablets, but it is most commonly found on sale as a powder or liquid. It can be snorted, smoked, injected, or taken orally and is frequently
mixed with other drugs, most commonly marijuana, MDMA or ecstasy. There is very limited medical research into how addictive PCP actually is, although it is believed that PCP can be addictive, and that termination of use almost certainly leads to withdrawal symptoms, similar to those experienced with other drugs. It is not clear how addictive it is in relation to the other street drugs, however it is known that PCP is extremely dangerous, and that there is a wide variety of negative effects on the body and mind. Long-term use of PCP can result in compulsive drug seeking behavior and cravings – taking PCP repetitively and over a long period of time means that the user will eventually become tolerant, and will require more of the drug each time in order to produce the usual desired level of intoxication. Users will quickly experience the need to seek out for the drug in order to feel ‘normal,’ and in these cases, recovering from PCP use can take up the majority of their life. It is important that you contact one of the many drug rehab centers for advice prior to attempting detox, particularly if you have reached the stage where you feel that PCP use is beginning to dominate your life. In some cases, abuse of PCP can also mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as induce psychosis, and there is a little doubt that it exacerbates the symptoms of existing mental health disorders. NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) believes that as many as half of all drug abusers also suffer from some form of mental or psychological illness, and more than half of those who have severe mental health disorders also abuse drugs – this is a process commonly known as ‘self-medication’. Recovering from co-occurring disorders requires careful and specialized treatment, in order to increase the likelihood of complete recovery. What are the Signs of PCP Abuse? There is a very vast variety of long and short-term effects associated with the abuse of PCP, some of which can be frightening and potentially very dangerous. Professionals within Drug Rehab Centers will be able to give you further non-judgmental advice and support prior to beginning rehabilitation, in order to ensure your safety and comfort. Some of the short-term effects that users may experience include a sense of invulnerability, and increased strength. They might also experience paranoia, mood swings, hallucinations, delusions, detachment, and an inability to feel pain. These short-term effects can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that mood disturbances (with an emphasis on the symptoms of anxiety) are present in at least half of those admitted to Emergency Rooms in the United States of America with issues stemming from PCP abuse. There is also a markedly higher risk of accidental death, as well as suicide, that comes along with the abuse of PCP. The extent and severity of side effects depend on how the PCP is ingested, as well as how much is taken, and whether it was mixed with other drugs and intoxicants or not. If PCP is snorted or injected, the risk of overdose and severe side effects is much higher. Chronic or long-term side effects of PCP can include severe damage to the central nervous system, extreme weight loss, hallucinations and flashbacks, damage to the liver, psychosis, severe depression and suicidal thoughts, difficulty thinking and even coma. Drug Abuse Warning Network has reported that well over 50000 people were admitted to Emergency Departments with issues related to PCP in 2010. Overdose of PCP has the potential to be life-threatening. Immediate medical attention is required for PCP users experiencing a catatonic state, high blood pressure, violent behavior, convulsions, psychosis, or a lack of coordination. It is important to understand that users of PCP can be dangerous, and should only be approached with extreme caution. If you are frightened or concerned about the behavior of a loved one and believe that PCP may be involved, you should contact a drug rehab center for confidential and sympathetic advice.