In the 1950s, PCP was developed with the intent to act as a surgical anaesthetic for humans, and eventually also used as a veterinary anaesthetic for animals. However, the drug was soon discontinued after the negative effects on patients’ minds were discovered.
However, many of the reasons PCP was discontinued from medical use became reasons people began taking it recreationally.
What is PCP?
PCP stands for phencyclidine and is also known by its street name, angel dust, among others. PCP is a hallucinogenic drug that can alter the user’s reality, mood, and thought patterns.
The drug can be sniffed, swallowed, or injected. It can also be smoked if a cigarette is dipped into or sprayed by liquid PCP.
PCP is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States and has not been legally manufactured since 1979. The use, manufacturing, and distribution of PCP can be punished with imprisonment.
What is A PCP High Like?
PCP was intended to be an anesthetic, so can cause the user to experience reality in a dreamlike state. However, the way different users experience a PCP high may vary.
Users may experience hallucinations, feel like time has sped up or slowed down, feel happy and euphoric or very down and paranoid.
Other people may notice the user exhibiting bizarre behavior, disorientation, poor coordination, or aggression.
How Dangerous is PCP?
When high on PCP, the user may experience feelings of invincibility. Paired with the lowered judgment skills that drugs cause, the user may engage in violent behavior or do something to hurt themselves. Users are often brought to hospital emergency rooms due to the psychological effects and suicidal behaviors the drug may create.
High doses or prolonged use of the drug can be very dangerous because of the way it alters the user’s mind.
PCP is also highly addictive and frequent users can develop a tolerance, meaning they’ll need larger doses to get the same high. People who suddenly stop using PCP will need medical supervision and possibly hospitalization due to the psychotic effects and withdrawal symptoms. However, detoxification from PCP is not inherently life-threatening.
Overdosing on PCP may cause seizures, damage to the user’s muscles, comas, or even death.
Prolonged use can carry with it long-term health consequences. Some people may experience flashbacks and hallucinations even after discontinuing their use of the drug. Some may also develop toxic psychosis, with symptoms like delusions, hostility, and paranoia. Less severe side effects include memory problems, depression, anxiety, and poor appetite.