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What is PCP?

Phencyclidine is better known as PCP. This is a strong and potentially dangerous hallucinogen. The drug creates both psychoactive and physical effects on those who use it.

PCP impacts the human brain in a variety of ways. The drug was introduced in the 1950s as an anesthetic. It was later popularized as a recreational drug in the 1960s and 70s. The drug produces a powerful sense of euphoria. This can be very appealing for those looking to detach from their surroundings and reality. Phencyclidine abuse is incredibly dangerous.

Learning More About PCP

The DEA lists PCP as a Schedule II controlled substance. There are several street names used for the drug, including:

  • Angel dust
  • Peace pills
  • Belladonna
  • Zoom
  • Sherm sticks

PCP comes in several forms, including liquid, clear or yellow in color, powder, and tablet forms that can be readily dissolved in water. PCP is often mixed with other serious drugs such as methamphetamine, ecstasy, and LSD. This is often done without the knowledge of the drug user. The risks of complications or overdose can increase in these cases.

Those struggling with addiction can fall into phencyclidine abuse in several ways.

Understanding PCP Addiction

When PCP is ingested, the drugs bring with them a sense of euphoria. It can also make users believe they are thinking clearly. The effects are felt rather quickly, depending on how the drug has been taken. For example, injecting and smoking PCP can result in effects being felt within a few short minutes. Those who swallow the drug may feel it within 30 minutes.

Is PCP Addictive?

Yes. The altered state that the influence of PCP brings with it can lead to a dependence on the drug. This is particularly the case in those who seek out sensory distortions or those seeking pseudo-spiritual experiences. PCP, like similar hallucinogens, PCP can result in feelings of detachment. When the drug is in control, distance and estrangement from the surroundings are very real.

PCP may not trigger the same full visual hallucinations as other drugs; they can induce image distortions. PCP can also trigger auditory hallucinations. The drug addict can become erratic, disassociated, and even dangerous. Those who abuse PCP can also experience some serious side effects. The size of the dose can impact the severity of the side effects.

Commonly experienced symptoms of addiction to PCP may include:

  • Euphoria
  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Numbness
  • Chills and muscle cramps
  • Anxiety, panic, and paranoia
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased respiration rate
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration and vomiting
  • The decrease in coordination and disorientation
  • Aggression

As with many drugs, there can be varying experiences and a certain unpredictability to the experiences. Some may use PCP and turn aggressive. Someone else may become anxious or overly relaxed. It can be very difficult to anticipate the symptoms that will occur. Symptoms vary depending on the user’s mental state prior to taking the drug.

Additional signs of addiction to PCP include the ability to manage PCP use and an increase in PCP abuse. Individuals may also experience mania, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts. Some may mix PCP with other drugs or alcohol. This can be dangerous. Mixing PCP with system depressants, such as benzodiazepines, can result in respiratory distress or death.

Who Abuses PCP?

For several decades there was a slump in the use and abuse of PCP. Today, there is a slow comeback seen in heavy PCP use and phencyclidine abuse. The drug may be seen abused by all age groups, but there is abuse seen in teenagers. They often infuse cigarettes with the yellow liquid form of PCP.

Early exposure to many drugs can alter the mind. The same holds true for teens who have early exposure to PCP. It can have a deep impact on the mind. Teenagers who abuse PCP are at an increased risk of developing psychosis later in life.

Studies have determined that as many as 1% of middle and high school students tested positive for PCP. There have been 400% increases in emergency department visits for PCP-related cases in recent years.

The average patient was seen to be men between 25 and 39 years of age. That is not to say that people younger and older cannot be seen abusing PCP. Many of the reported emergency room cases included a combination of additional drugs; cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are listed the highest. As always, it is exceptionally dangerous to combine other substances with PCP.

Withdrawal from PCP Addiction

PCP is well-known for inducing a sense of discomfort when users go through the withdrawal phase. Once someone who is dependent on the drug suddenly stops, they will ensure those painful withdrawal symptoms. PCP users will experience a range of withdrawal symptoms.

It is recommended that the detox phase of recovery is done under medical supervision. Certainly, it is possible to detox at home, but there are some potential dangers to be aware of. This is due to the seriousness of the side-effects that individuals may suffer from. Some of these may include:

  • Confusion and delusions
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Psychotic symptoms, including paranoia
  • Aggressive and suicidal behavior

A treatment program is an essential tool to curb cravings and control side-effects of withdrawal. PCP users and their loved ones should consider an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility.

Resurgence Behavioral Health for PCP Addiction Treatment

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we have access to resources, medications, and the professionals who can make PCP detox more comfortable. A comprehensive detox and rehabilitation program provides a safe and controlled environment. This will allow patients to recover and heal in a supervised space.

It is no secret that withdrawal from PCP and other drugs can be uncomfortable. It can also be painful, in some cases. Some patients may even become a danger to themselves and others. Supervised safety is the number one benefit of going through detox in a facility. Any health concerns that arise can be handled by the right medical professional. PCP withdrawal can potentially bring with it some serious health concerns.

It is better to be under the care of a medical professional should an urgent matter become a reality. Therapists will also be on hand to help with the emotional and mental turmoil that can arise during recovery.

Long-Term Sobriety with Help from Resurgence

Long-term sobriety involves so much more than waiting for the drug to leave your system. There are several other benefits to a rehab program that can help you move forward.

  • Access to therapy, including individual and family
  • Social services, if needed
  • Access to aftercare recovery programs, including 12-step meetings
  • Referrals to medical professionals for prescriptions
  • Mental health assessments and help
  • Nutritional guidance and lifestyle change suggestions

Taking steps to remove PCP from your life can be challenging. You do not need to go through the recovery process on your own. Some people will be able to help you with the struggles that you are facing. Getting the right support can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.