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PCP, or phencyclidine, is a dissociative anesthetic that was developed in the 1950s as a surgical anesthetic. Its sedative and anesthetic effects are trance-like, and patients experience a feeling of being "out of body" and detached from their environment. 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.

Street names:

Angel Dust, Embalming Fluid, Killer Weed, Rocket Fuel, Supergrass

Dangers of PCP:

PCP has sedative effects, and interactions with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can lead to coma or accidental overdose.
Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms because of PCP's unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdoses. In a hospital or detention setting, they often become violent or suicidal, and are very dangerous to themselves and to others. They should be kept in a calm setting and should not be left alone.

short-term effects:

At low to moderate doses

  • Distinct changes in body awareness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Flushing, profuse sweating
  • Generalized numbness of the extremities
  • Poor muscular coordination
  • Use of PCP among adolescents may interfere with hormones related to normal growth and development as well as with the learning process.

At high doses

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death (though death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes
  • Drooling
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Schizophrenia-like symptoms such as delusions, paranoia, disordered thinking, a sensation of distance from one's environment, and catatonia.
  • Speech is often sparse and garbled

long-term effects:

    • Addicting; use often leads to psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior.
    • Memory loss
    • Difficulties with speech and thinking
    • Depression
    • Weight loss
    • Mood disorders
These symptoms can last up to a year after quitting PCP.