Effects of PCP Abuse
PCP is a synthetic drug that has some of the most violent, dangerous effects of any of today’s drugs of abuse. Like K2 (Spice) and bath salts, PCP abuse can result in dangerous hallucinations coupled with aggressive behavior. Its original use was as an anesthetic so it deadens pain as well. It may also give the user a feeling of invulnerability.
When you add these characteristics together, the result can be a drug experience that is dangerous to others who are nearby, such as law enforcement or hospital personnel who need to handle the person. The effects can also be dangerous or deadly to the drug user himself. PCP users have been observed mutilating themselves and assaulting others without any regard for injury to themselves. One police video shows a man high on PCP running at the police cruiser and throwing his entire body across the hood and into the windshield.
When police officers share stories about the effects of PCP on people they have been trying to subdue, these stories often contain incidents that confirm the following effects of PCP:
- The drugged person lacks any rational judgment
- He (or she) feels no pain
- He thinks of himself as invulnerable
- He is often aggressive
- He is willing to harm himself or others
Many of these stories involve self-injury that includes broken bones, dislocated joints, even incidents of stabbing oneself or amputating body parts. When the effects of PCP wear off, someone who injures himself while high is going to be in plenty of pain.
PCP got a bad reputation for being a dangerous drug back in the 1980s when it was first popular. This bad reputation contributed to fewer people abusing the drug. As new generations grow up, this reputation can fade and a new generation may be exposed to these dangers all over again. This phenomenon began to appear in 2012, with PCP gaining in popularity again. PCP is generally grouped with club drugs like Ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and Rohypnol, all drugs with very risky effects.
Because PCP is addictive, it can happen that a person cannot stop using the drug even if he sees there is damage occurring. The cravings will drive him back to the drug dealer to get more of this drug with its potentially life-threatening effects.
The most important thing a family can do for someone who is abusing PCP is to get the person to an effective drug rehab program immediately and ensure they get all the way through the program.
Short-Term Effects of PCP Abuse
A person who is high on PCP may breathe shallowly, sweat excessively, be flushed and have numb extremities. He (or she) may move with poor coordination, be nauseated and vomit. His eyes may flicker up and down or he may stare fixedly at nothing. These physical effects are in addition to the delusions and other mental effects.
Long-Term Effects of PCP Abuse
If a person abuses this drug over a long period of time, the effects can be disabling. A person who abuses this drug long-term is very likely to have memory loss, difficulty speaking and thinking clearly. They are likely to be very depressed.
The abuser may lose the ability to complete tasks or communicate with others. He can become withdrawn and isolate himself completely. A person on PCP can manifest a completely psychotic state and long-term use makes this drug-induced psychosis more lasting.
Can a Person Recover from PCP Addiction?
Yes, it is possible to recover from this addiction. One of the most critical points of recovery is to remove the residual PCP from a person’s body. It is known that PCP residues store in fatty tissues like marijuana and LSD residues. For both LSD and PCP, there is a chance that months or even years later, there can be a flashback to the effects of the drug. The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has a special step that helps those who have been abusing hallucinogens recover.
This step is the Narconon New Life Detoxification. This is one phase of the overall drug rehab program that is performed near the beginning of the recovery. Each person spends time daily in a sauna, sweating freely. A very specific regimen of nutritional supplements and moderate exercise activate the body’s ability to flush out drug toxins while sweating. Careful supervision monitors the condition of every person while he (or she) sweats, as reactions to the drugs being sweated out can occur at any time.
When this phase of recovery is complete, a person recovers the brightness that drug residues may obscure. Completions of this step often talk about how much more clearly they can think and how much lower their cravings are. Most people say that their physical cravings for drugs are now gone.
What remains is to help people overcome the psychological need for drugs. This phase of the program can take some time but is well worth it. When it is complete, a person is much safer going back into the area where he may meet old drug-using friends or encounter the stresses that caused him to start abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place. Find out how the Narconon rehab program can help someone you care about break free from a drug like PCP.
See also Signs and Symptoms of PCP Use