PCP (Angel Dust)

A dissociative drug developed as an intravenous anesthetic that has been discontinued due to serious adverse effects. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality. PCP is an abbreviation of the scientific name, phencyclidine. For more information, see Psychedelic and Dissociative Drugs.

Commercial NamesCommon FormsCommon Ways TakenDEA Schedule
No commercial usesWhite or colored powder, tablet, or capsule; clear liquidInjected, snorted, swallowed, smoked (powder added to mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana)I, II**
Possible Health Effects
Short-termDelusions, hallucinations, paranoia, problems thinking, a sense of distance from one’s environment, anxiety.

Low doses: slight increase in breathing rate; increased blood pressure and heart rate; shallow breathing; face redness and sweating; numbness of the hands or feet; problems with movement.

High doses: nausea; vomiting; flicking up and down of the eyes; drooling; loss of balance; dizziness; violence; seizures, coma, and death.
Long-termMemory loss, problems with speech and thinking, loss of appetite, anxiety.
Other Health-related IssuesPCP has been linked to self-injury.

Risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles.
In Combination with AlcoholUnknown.
Withdrawal SymptomsHeadaches, increased appetite, sleepiness, depression.
Treatment Options
MedicationsThere are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to PCP or other dissociative drugs.
Behavioral TherapiesMore research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs.

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