Signs and Symptoms of PCP Abuse

person tripping on PCP

PCP stands for phencylidine, a crystalline synthetic drug. At one time, it was used as an anesthetic but the severe side effects caused it to fall out of use. In addition to deadening pain, there’s a long list of signs of use, most of which can be unpleasant and some that can be downright dangerous.

Signs of PCP abuse include:

  • Sedation
  • Immobility
  • Amnesia
  • Numbness
  • Slurred speech and other speech difficulties
  • A sense of invulnerability
  • Blank stare
  • Rapid, involuntary eye movements
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat

There are other symptoms that may show up in a person who has used PCP over a long period of time, such as:

  • Stuttering
  • Impaired memory
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Inability to speak
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • How PCP is Abused
smoking marijuana laced with pcp

Powdered PCP can be snorted or mixed with marijuana or another green herb and smoked. Some people dissolve PCP or get it in liquid form and dip a marijuana cigarette in the solution. The cigarette is then dried and it can be sold or smoked later. This type of joint is known as a “dipper.” Very small quantities of PCP are normally used at any one time, with 5 to 10 milligrams being typical.

It is mostly young people who abuse this drug, such as teens in high school or young adults. It first became popular in the 1980s, leading police departments across the country to spread alerts about the dangers of trying to arrest people who had taken this drug. While some stories of the danger may have been exaggerated, it is true that some people who were hallucinatory would not feel pain even if they were shot and might even break their own hands to get out of handcuffs. The intensity of the psychosis and the anesthesia resulting from PCP combined to make these people hazardous to be around.

Addiction to PCP

As if these symptoms of PCP abuse were not bad enough, it is also addictive. A person will build a tolerance to the drug, meaning that more needs to be taken to get the same effect they want to experience. And they will go through withdrawal symptoms when they quit using it.

This means that no matter what damage, injury, danger or other harm is being experienced by a person from using this devastating hallucinogen, they will continue to buy the drug and consume it. A PCP addict is in serious and immediate need of recovery from this addiction.

Unfortunately, PCP has become more popular in recent years. This is a highly unpredictable drug that could put any user or anyone in the vicinity of a user at risk. Publicly available video footage shows PCP users lying in the road, walking around naked and attacking people and objects around them.

When a family discovers that a loved one is abusing PCP, the only safety is in getting that person into an effective rehabilitation program as soon as possible.

Narconon Has a Thorough and Effective Approach to Recovery

In dozens of locations around the world, the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has been helping addicts recover their sobriety for nearly five decades. One of the key steps to recovery, especially for PCP addicts, is the Narconon New Life Detoxification. Like LSD, PCP residues store in the fatty tissues of the body where it can affect mood and outlook for years. The Narconon New Life Detoxification is one phase of the overall addiction recovery program that flushes out these old residues, brightening one’s viewpoint and reducing cravings. Some people completing this step state that is has eliminated their physical cravings entirely.

What must then follow is the counseling and the life skills training to enable a person to overcome the psychological attachment to drugs. If this is not done, such triggers as old drug-using friends, locations where drugs were used or situations that used to drive one to abuse drugs or alcohol could mean the end of sobriety. The thorough approach of a Narconon rehab improves a person’s ability to deal with these influences which is key to long-lasting sobriety.

If you need to save someone you care about from the danger of addiction to a harmful drug like PCP, find out how the Narconon program may be the only one you will ever need. Narconon centers can be found in locations around the world.

See also Effects of PCP Abuse


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