PCP Effects, Addiction, and Treatment – Phencyclidine (PCP), also commonly referred to as Angel Dust, is a dissociative drug that can induce hallucinations and cause distortions in a user’s perception of reality.
PCP is structurally similar to ketamine (Special K) and can result in the person experiencing a distortion of sights, sounds, colors, self, and environment. Angel Dust is a Schedule II drug, with a high potential for addiction, and use may lead to dependence, drug cravings, and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
In its purest form, PCP is typically found as a white crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and has a bitter chemical taste. On the black market, PCP may also include many adulterants and contaminants that produce darker colors that range from tan to brown with a powdery to tacky consistency.
How Is PCP Abused?
PCP can be found in the form of capsules, tablets, and colored powders. It can be consumed orally, snorted, smoked, or injected. Smoking is believed to be the most popular method of administration when used for non-medical purposes.
The liquid solution form of illegal Angel Dust is actually PCP base commonly dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent. When smoked, PCP is often sprayed onto leafy organic material such as oregano, parsley, or cannabis. Psychoactive effects last for between 4-6 hours.
PCP Drug Effects
Many experts contend that PCP is among the most dangerous drugs of abuse. Even a moderate amount of PCP can result in a person experiencing detachment, becoming withdrawn, and disengaging from the environment. Numbness in the extremities, poor coordination, and slurred speech are effects that may also co-occur with feelings of vitality and invulnerability.
A vacant stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and an exaggerated gait are among the more apparent effects. Auditory hallucinations, image distortions, extreme mood disorders, and memory loss may also occur. Severe anxiety, accompanied by feelings of impending doom, paranoia, extreme hostility, and a psychotic state that resembles schizophrenia is also common.
Low to moderate doses of PCP may cause the following physiological effects:
- Accelerated breathing rate
- Excessive sweating
- Increased blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Shallow respiration
High doses of PCP may cause the following physiological effects:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Slowed pulse
- Depressed respiration
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Uncontrolled eye movement
- Impaired balance
- Extreme aggression
- Violent impulses
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
High doses of Angel Dust can also produce seizures and result in coma or even death, often as a result of accidental injury or suicide during extreme intoxication. Psychological effects at high doses also include hallucinations and delusions.
PCP Abuse and Addiction
Today, many erroneously believe that Angel Dust on the streets is mostly a problem of the past. However, in some areas such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., PCP use has continued and accounts for as much as 10 percent of positive drug tests upon arrest. Also, in other areas where Angel Dust use declined to insignificant levels in the 1990s, police and addiction experts are now concerned that the drug could be making a comeback.
Indeed, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), PCP-related emergency room visits increased by over 400% from 14,825 to 75,538 between 2005-2011. Also, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that “the number of past-year initiates of PCP aged 12 or older was 90,000, up from the 2011 estimate of 48,000.”
The majority of these new Angel Dust users are young and seeking a high that is more intense than cannabis but still affordable. They often purchase the drug in a form commonly known to as “wet,” a liquid tincture used to soak tobacco, marijuana, or mint leaves, which are then smoked.
Treatment for PCP Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to Angel Dust, please seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Upon admission to Harmony Recovery Center, our team of addiction specialists will collaborate to design a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. This plan will be customized to reflect your recovery needs and goals and includes all the therapeutic modalities and support people need to recover and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.
Our clinical programs combine a range of innovative, research-based treatment approaches that help patients develop the skills to overcome obstacles to sobriety. Within this therapeutic and supportive environment, clients can once again engage with themselves, redefine hopes and goals, and create a satisfying and healthy future for themselves without the use of harmful drugs.
Harmony Recovery Center offers comprehensive partial-hospitalization and outpatient treatment for those suffering from addiction to Angel Dust, other drugs, or alcohol, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders.
Give us a call today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs. Discover how we can help you or your loved one commence your recovery journey!