PCP, short for phencyclidine, is a highly addictive dissociative anesthetic drug that can have profound and dangerous effects on the brain and body. Originally developed in the 1950s as an intravenous surgical anesthetic, PCP was soon discontinued for human use due to its severe side effects. Today, PCP is an illicit street drug of abuse that is manufactured in clandestine labs. At JourneyPure’s addiction treatment centers in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida, we help many individuals battling PCP addiction find lasting recovery and freedom from this devastating drug.

Some users of PCP will dip their cigarettes into the drug as a liquid

Some users of PCP will dip their cigarettes into the drug as a liquid

What is PCP?

Understanding the Drug

PCP is a white crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. On the illicit drug market, PCP may be sold as a powder, crystal, capsule, or liquid. It is often smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected. PCP is frequently used in combination with other drugs like marijuana, tobacco, or MDMA.

Street names for PCP include Angel Dust, Rocket Fuel, Embalming Fluid, Killer Weed, Supergrass, Ozone, Love Boat, Hog, Zoom, and Shermans. The effects of PCP are dose-dependent. Lower doses produce numbness, sedation and euphoria, while higher doses can cause intense hallucinations and dissociation. The effects typically begin within minutes of use and last for several hours.

Dangers and Side Effects

PCP is a “dissociative drug,” meaning it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment or dissociation from the self and environment. Users report feeling disconnected from their bodies and invincible.

Physiological effects of PCP include numbness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, rapid eye movements, and blank staring. Psychological effects may include severe disorientation, paranoia, agitation, aggression, grandiosity, impulsivity, and social withdrawal. At high doses, PCP can cause seizures, coma, hyperthermia and even death, especially when combined with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Long-term PCP use can lead to persistent speech difficulties, memory loss, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, and social isolation that can last for a year or more after ceasing use. Addiction is a serious risk with repeated PCP use. Chronic users may experience intense cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Physical dependence and addiction can develop rapidly with regular PCP use.

How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

PCP is a lipophilic molecule that is readily absorbed and distributed into tissues and organs throughout the body, especially in fatty tissues like the brain. The liver then extensively metabolizes PCP before it is excreted by the kidneys in urine.

PCP lab seizure by the DEA (2)

PCP lab seizure by the DEA (2)

The half-life of PCP is estimated around 21 hours, meaning this is the time it takes for half of the ingested dose to be eliminated from the body. However, complete elimination of PCP and its metabolites can take much longer, with the time PCP remains detectable in the body depending on several factors:

  • Dose and frequency of use: Higher doses and chronic, repeated use will stay in your system longer than a single, low dose.
  • Individual factors: Metabolism, body mass, age, overall health, and hydration status all influence drug excretion rates.
  • Route of administration: Intravenous PCP use generally has faster elimination than oral ingestion.

PCP is detectable by various drug screening tests for the following time frames after last use:

  • Urine test: 1 to 7 days
  • Blood test: 1 to 3 days
  • Saliva test: 1 to 2 days
  • Hair follicle test: Up to 3 months

Treating PCP Addiction at JourneyPure

PCP addiction is a serious condition that often requires professional treatment. The highly addictive nature and severe side effects of chronic PCP use can make it very difficult to quit without help. At JourneyPure’s drug rehab centers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida, we offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for PCP addiction.

PCP lab seizure by the DEA

PCP lab seizure by the DEA

Our treatment programs are customized to each client’s individual needs and include:

  • Medically-supervised detox and withdrawal management
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy to address underlying issues
  • Trauma therapy and dual diagnosis treatment
  • 12-Step immersion and peer support groups
  • Relapse prevention strategies and aftercare planning
  • Family therapy and education

With our holistic approach, expert team of addiction specialists, and state-of-the-art facilities, lasting recovery from PCP addiction is possible. Most insurance plans are accepted and we are here for you 24/7. Don’t wait another day for the help you need and deserve. Call JourneyPure now at 888-985-2207 or visit JourneyPure.com to learn more. Let your journey to a drug-free life start today.

Staff Spotlight

Will Long

  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • years in the field

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