What is it?
Phencyclidine (PCP) is a mind-altering drug that may lead to violent hallucinations. It is considered a dissociative drug, leading to a distortion of sights, colors, sounds, self, and one’s environment. PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but due to the serious neurotoxic side effects, its development for human medical use was discontinued. Ketamine, an anesthetic used for surgery and painful procedures was developed instead and is structurally similar to PCP.
PCP is highly addictive and its use often leads to psychological dependence, cravings, and compulsive PCP-seeking behaviors. This means users are not able to control their use of it and they need PCP to get through daily life. It is also frequently combined with many other drugs during consumption, making it very difficult for users to know the strength and composition of the drug.
What does it look like?
PCP usually comes as a fine white powder, which can be dissolved in alcohol or water. It can be bought as a powder or liquid, and is often also mixed with marijuana or tobacco.
What are some other names for phencyclidine ?
More common names for PCP include angel dust, embalming fluid, hog, killer weed, love boat, ozone, peace pill, rocket fuel, super weed, wack, and killer joint.
How is it used?
PCP can be injected, inhaled by snorting or sniffing, smoked or swallowed. All of these ways of using PCP deliver the drug to the brain quickly, contributing to the high risks for health and addiction. The first time a person uses PCP, the drug creates a sensation of being high.
What are the effects of the drug?
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea and or vomiting
- Increased blood pressure
- Feelings of detachment
- Rapid respiration rate
- Memory loss
- Violent outbursts
- Suicidal thoughts
- Overdose and death
What is its federal classification?
PCP is a Schedule II drug. This means that there is high potential for abuse and its use potentially leads to severe psychological or physical dependence. It is also included in Department of Transportation (DOT) lab based urine analysis testing in line with 49 CFR Part 40 Subpart F.