PCP (Phencyclidine)

PCP-pure-crystal PCP is a dissociative drug that causes users to enter states of mind similar to psychosis. Phencyclidine is a central nervous system depressant that was originally introduced as an anesthetic for surgeries in the 1950s. The clinical community discontinued the drug because of its unpredictable and disorienting side effects including agitation and hallucinations. PCP is also referred to as angel dust, peace pills, animal tranquilizer, peace pill and crystal joints. In its purest form, PCP is a white crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water or alcohol and has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. PCP is commonly mixed with marijuana and smoked, but can also be snorted, ingested or administered intravenously.


PCP-Abuse-Makes-You-Go-crazy Someone who is high on PCP may exhibit erratic behavior including auditory and visual hallucinations, feeling acute anxiety, paranoia and a sense of impending doom, and a proclivity for violence or suicide. Disorientation can also be physical in nature. Someone high on PCP can feel numbness of their extremities, slur speech, and lose coordination and balance. It is possible to overdose and die on PCP and high doses of PCP can cause a user to have a seizure or coma and have suicidal tendencies.


Withdrawal from PCP is not known to cause physical pain; however, the mental and emotional symptoms can be distressing. A person withdrawing from PCP can experience anxiety, depression, psychosis and extreme mood swings. Withdrawal can occur within a single day of last use, and last for as long as three months, dependent on the extent of use.


PCP is most commonly seen as powder. In this form it can be snorted, ingested or smoked. When PCP is ingested, it is in a pressed tablet form, or portioned into pill capsules. When PCP is smoked, it is frequently mixed on marijuana or tobacco. This means that there is an overlap between the cannabis paraphernalia including pipes, bongs, bowls, rolling papers and cigar wraps.


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Addicted to PCP? Now What?

The best way to treat PCP addiction is by seeking help.

Entering treatment allows medical professionals and clinical therapists to determine the severity of the addiction, find and treat any underlying co-occurring disorders. Through treatment, those addicted to PCP will learn new coping skills, create recovery communities and finally end their addiction to PCP. Amatus Recovery Centers can help make this process easier.  Each of facility across the country evaluates a patient’s addiction history to determine which level of care is appropriate for you, and create a treatment plan specifically for you. After the withdrawal symptoms subside, you can continue the path of recovery during inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient programs.