What Is Phencyclidine (fen·sai·kluh·deen)?
Phencyclidine, better known by its street name PCP, is an illegal drug that could cause a host of severe side effects. Phencyclidine often comes in a white powder, which users then dissolve in a liquid such as water or alcohol. Users could also purchase phencyclidine in a liquid form as well. Typically, users insert phencyclidine into their system one of four ways:
- Snorting the powder through the nose
- Injecting the liquid directly into their veins
- Smoking the powder
- Swallowing the powder or liquid
In addition to phencyclidine, PCP has a host of other names by which it may be referred. These include angel dust, rocket fuel, whack, embalming fluid, killer weed, Supergrass, love boat, ozone, or peace pill. If you suspect that a loved one is taking PCP, it’s critical that you order a phencyclidine drug test immediately.
Uses Of Phencyclidine
Most people use PCP because it is a mind-altering substance. The drug attacks your central nervous system directly, having an immediate impact on your behavior, mood, and perception of the world around you. Many researchers believe that PCP inhibits certain brain chemicals, preventing them from performing their regular duties.
The most widely-known use for PCP is as a hallucinogen. Users see, feel, or hear things that are nothing more than a figment of their imagination, even though they believe them to be real. Similarly, many people user PCP because it is a dissociative drug. Users report that they feel separate from their body and their surroundings. Many describe a “floating” sensation and the feeling that they are disconnected from reality.
Because of this, PCP is often known as an “upper.” Meaning, users are much more joyful as they experience a “rush” or a euphoric feeling. Users also seem to have fewer inhibitions while taking PCP. Many users also say that they feel as though they have superhuman strength and are unstoppable while on the drug. They are not afraid of anything and report that their sense of thinking is quite clear.
Lastly, PCP users can often control the rush that they receive and when they feel it. If users shoot PCP through a vein, users will feel the effects within minutes. If they smoke the drug, the effects will also begin instantly but will peak about 15 to 30 minutes after smoking. If users swallow the drug, they’ll feel the effects within 30 minutes, with the impact peaking two to five hours after ingesting.
Effects Of Phencyclidine
Phencyclidine can be a problematic drug because users report getting a rush and euphoric feeling and can control when they feel these effects. However, there are numerous effects of PCP that of which users should be aware. Unfortunately, many of these effects are cast aside because the drug is such an “upper.”
Even if a user only takes low to moderate doses of the drug, they could suffer from numbness through the body and a loss of coordination. If a user receives a hefty dose of the drug, the feelings of joy and the hallucinations quickly turn dark. Users become suspicious and skeptical of others, failing to trust them. As a result, users tend to become violent and aggressive. Similarly, users can hear voices in their head, similar to schizophrenia.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that because phencyclidine is not a controlled substance, there is an increased risk of users not knowing what they are putting in their bodies. With no regulations, it’s easy for someone to spike, cut, or alter the drug before another individual inserts it into their body. Users continuously run the risk of not knowing what is in the drugs that they are taking; which could cause a host of other effects and could eventually prove to be fatal.
Symptoms Of Phencyclidine
There are numerous symptoms that someone will suffer from when they take phencyclidine. Short-term symptoms include an increase in a user’s heart rate and breathing rate. Users will also likely see a spike in their blood pressure. This tends to affect most of the people who take the drug. The higher the dose, the more likely someone is to suffer from these conditions.
Another symptom of PCP is that people are not receptive to pain. The drug has analgesic properties similar to opioids. Because users are hallucinating, there is an increased risk of them becoming seriously injured while on the drug. However, because of the pain-killing properties, they will not be able to recognize that something terrible has happened to them.
The longer that someone takes PCP, the more likely they are to develop severe, long-term consequences. Long-term phencyclidine users can suffer from memory loss and have issues speaking clearly, often forming a stutter. They can also begin slurring their words. Additionally, users may have problems thinking clearly, as they rely upon the drug to provide them with a transparent state of mind. Users may also begin to struggle with depression and anxiety.
Lastly, it’s possible to overdose on PCP and take a dose that proves to be fatal. If a user ingests a hefty dose of PCP orally, their kidneys could fail, or they could develop a heart arrhythmia. As a result, their muscles would likely go rigid, and they would begin suffering from seizures until their death.
Testing For Phencyclidine
PCP is a drug that should be taken seriously. If you believe a friend or family member is taking PCP, you should look to order a phencyclidine drug test. You can order a phencyclidine drug test that analyzes someone’s urine, hair, or saliva. Urine phencyclidine drug tests will indicate PCP usage after approximately five hours of use, and up to a week or two after the fact. Test for PCP is one of the requirements of DOT drug testing programs.
Check our full menu of drug testing, most of the panels include testing for phencyclidine (PCP). Use of PCP in the United States is becoming rare but we do see some positive test results for PSC.
Hair phencyclidine drug tests will indicate usage within five to ten days and up to 90 days. Saliva phencyclidine drug tests will report usage immediately within five to ten minutes, and for up to three days after the fact. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s potential use and abuse of PCP, be sure to order a test today.