What is PCP?
- PCP, or Phencyclidine, also known as Angel Dust, is a dissociative anesthetic first synthesized in 1926 and tested after WWII as a surgical anesthetic.
- It is classified as a “dissociative anesthetic”. It is has a similar method of action as ketamine, both working as NMDA receptor antagonists.
- PCP is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, meaning unauthorized possession is Illegal in all 50 states.
- A large portion of the PCP on the streets is smuggled into the USA through Mexico, the remainder being produced domestically in clandestine laboratories in the USA.
How is PCP used?
- PCP can come in two forms, a freebase oil that can be dissolved in solution or soaked on plant material, or a hydrochloride crystalline salt form.
- PCP as a freebase can be smoked, dissolved in alcohol and ingested orally.
- PCP as a salt can be smoked, snorted, injected, and ingested orally.
- Smoking has historically been the most common method when using recreationally. It is smoked either in a freebase pipe or via a popular method that involves dissolving the PCP in ether then dipping a cigarette into the solution and allowing it to dry before smoking the cigarette.
What are the effects?
- Effects vary greatly by user and dosage, but can range from a heavy body and mental high to full blown hallucinations that are indistinguishable from reality.
- General effects tend to come on quickly depending on route of administration. Taking 2-20 minutes on the come-up, gradually peaking after 1-2 hours, plateauing for 2 hours, then coming down over 24 hours. Once near baseline, residual effects can be felt for 24 hours afterwards, lending to an “afterglow” or hangover.
- PCP can be extremely powerful, being able to cause delirious states and very realistic, life-like hallucinations.
- PCP can cause seizures, loss of self, disturbing hallucinations, psychotic episodes and delusional thought patterns. PCP can also cause acute amnesia that can cover entire days.
- PCP can also cause intense hangover symptoms, such as nausea and numbness in extremities.