PCP

Street Names:

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

"A ...High School student on a drug-induced rampage ran in front of a school bus yesterday afternoon, seriously injuring himself ... The 17-year-old, whose name was not released, screamed that he was going to kill himself before and after the accident ... 'He said he was on acid and then all of a sudden he went crazy'...The Arizona Daily Star, January 20, 1999

Chemical Composition:

PCP/Phencyclidine in its pure form is a white crystalline powder that dissolves in water. Most PCP is manufactured illegally in clandestine laboratories and contains contaminates causing the color to be brownish and the consistency to range from a powder to a gummy mass.

In the 1950s, researchers originally thought Phencyclidine might be used as an anesthetic, but it produced negative side effects such as confusion and delirium and was discontinued in 1965. For a while it was used as an animal anesthetic but no longer is.

 

Characteristics:

PCP is a hallucinogen. PCP often causes users to feel detached from their surroundings.

Methods of Use:

PCP is sold in tablets, capsules, powder and liquid; but it is commonly applied to a leafy material, such as parsley, mint, oregano or marijuana and smoked. It can also be snorted or eaten.

Risks:

PCP can produce numbness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, a blank stare, and rapid and involuntary eye movements. Users may experience a sense of strength and invulnerability, or they may feel acute anxiety, a feeling of impending doom, paranoia and violent hostility. PCP can cause seizures, coma and death.

"The teen ran from the apartment, busting windshields and denting car roofs along the way ... He then stripped naked and ran onto North Oracle Road, ... in front of the bus. " The Arizona Daily Star", January 20, 1999

Auditory hallucinations and image distortions may occur along with severe mood swings. It can also produce amnesia or psychoses indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Some may become suicidal and very dangerous to themselves.

PCP is addictive.

Low to moderate doses of PCP may cause increased blood pressure and pulse rate, numbness of the extremities and lack of muscular coordination. High doses of PCP can cause a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration. The abuser may experience nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, drooling, loss of balance and dizziness.

Used over a long period, PCP can cause memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression and weight loss. Symptoms can persist up to a year after stopping use.

Sources:

"Phencyclidine (PCP) & Related Drugs"
DEA Publication: Drugs of Abuse
U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
www.dea.gov

"PCP (Phencyclidine)"
NIDA Infofax
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
www.drugabuse.gov