Drugs Information, what you really should know about, drugs facts on and facts about PCP (Phencyclidine)

A Guide for worried parents, teenagers who are using drugs or thinking about using drugs and anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

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PCP (Phencyclidine) was originally developed as an anesthetic for humans and large animals.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. It is illegally manufactured in clandestine laboratories and is sold as tablets, capsules and coloured powders.

How are they taken:
PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. PCP can be mixed easily with dyes and turns up on the illicit drug market in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders. It is normally used in one of three ways: snorted, smoked, or eaten. For smoking,PCP is often applied to a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana.

Common Street Names:
Angel dust, angel hair, mist, hog, crystal supergrass, killer joints, ozone, wack, rocket fuel.


PCP produces feelings of invulnerability and a numbing effect on the mind that can often result in anger and rage. At high doses, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration. PCP can cause effects that mimic certain primary symptoms of schizophrenia.

Physical risks associated with using PCP :
increased heart rate and blood pressure sleeplessness and tremors lack of muscular coordination sparse, mangled, and incoherent speech
decreased awareness of touch and pain that can result in self-inflicted injuries convulsions coma; heart and lung failure double vision
Psychological risks associated with using hallucinogens:
a sense of distance and estrangement depression, anxiety, and paranoia violent behavior confusion, suspicion, and loss of control
flashbacks behavior similar to schizophrenic psychosis catatonic syndrome whereby the user becomes mute, lethargic, disoriented, and makes meaningless repetitive movements

Having a bad psychological reaction to PCP and similar drugs is common. The scary sensation may last a few minutes or several hours, and be mildly frightening or terrifying. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspiciousness, anxiety, feeling of helplessness, and loss of control. Sometimes taking a hallucinogen such as LSD can unmask mental or emotional problems that were previously unknown to the user.
Flashbacks, in which the person experience a drug's effects without having to take the drug again, can occur.

Research has determined that PCP can protect the brain from permanent damage after a stroke or heart attack. Basic brain research on the actions of amino acids and the effects of commonly abused drugs led to the discovery that PCP can stop the uncontrolled activity that destroys nerve cells. This discovery is expected to help people who suffer from any trauma that interrupts the supply of oxygen to the brain. Researchers are now looking for drugs that can work like PCP without producing the psychological effects.

For information about other drugs, return to Drug Information Page.