What you need to know about the dangers of PCP addiction
Addiction is a powerful disease that affects people all over the world. Experts recognize addiction as a disease because it is chronic, progressive, and deadly. It can be overcome with help, and a recovering addict can go on to lead a productive, healthy, and happy life.
Some people believe that hallucinogens are not addictive. The reality is that any drug that is mood or mind-altering can be addictive. People most often do drugs to change the way that they feel, and when they achieve that goal they often want to experience it again, and again. When a person compulsively and obsessively seeks out a drug to alter their perception, mood or reality, they are displaying addictive behavior, and over time may find that they are unable to control this behavior on their own. A person caught in the grips of addiction may not realize that he or she has a problem, which can make it difficult for them to seek help.
What Is PCP?
PCP is the common name given for phencyclidine, a synthetic hallucinogen that was created in the 1920’s and used in the 1950’s as an anesthetic but discontinued due to its detrimental effects. It was made a schedule 2 drug not long after. PCP gained popularity in the 1960’s and 1970’s for its hallucinogenic and euphoric effects, and although its use peaked in the late 70’s, it is a drug that is still in use today. You can snort, smoke, or ingest PCP. It may come in a liquid or powder form and can be pressed into capsules. Sometimes people use the liquid to dip paper and cigarettes in. One of the many dangers of PCP is that it can be inadvertently used because people may dip cigarettes in it, or mix it in with other drugs such as marijuana or MDMA.
The effects of PCP on a user can include:
- Drowsiness or relaxation
- Dissociation, feelings of not being in reality or being detached from yourself or the world around you.
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Delusional thinking.
- Confusion, disorientation.
- Paranoid thoughts
- Decreased sensitivity and awareness of pain
Signs of PCP Abuse
A person who has ingested PCP may display bizarre or even hostile behavior. PCP is a powerful drug and depending on the amount used and the way it was used a person can stay “high” for up to 24 hours. PCP is a dissociative drug that can render the user completely unaware of their behavior and actions. There are numerous dangers when using PCP. Overdose is possible. Mixing other drugs with PCP increases that risk. Sadly, people may ingest and overdose on PCP not even knowing that they have used the drug because someone has tampered with another drug or even a cigarette or a drink.
When a person is under the influence of PCP they don’t have a solid grasp of reality. They may lose awareness of reality and may become oblivious to risks, gravity, and obvious dangers. They can easily get hurt or even die by trying to climb, jump, or swim, in dangerous situations (e.g., climbing up or jumping off a cliff or out of a window, swimming in water too deep etc.) Accidental deaths or even accidental killings have resulted from PCP use, as well as self-mutilation and suicide.
Violent behavior is a risk when using PCP, however, this is not necessarily a common occurrence. It has generally been found that persons who commit violent acts while under the influence of PCP were already violent. It’s also possible they suffer from additional mental health issues.
While PCP isn’t physically addictive, a person can become psychologically addicted to the euphoria and dissociation that comes with the drug. If you or someone you love has become addicted to PCP or any other type of drug, help is available.
Rehab for PCP Addiction
As with any other drug addiction, PCP can be devastating. Every time a person uses the drug, they run the risk of overdose or injury or death. This is, of course, as a direct result of the symptoms of the drug. In addition, addiction itself is devastating because it interferes with a person living their life. You become consumed with obtaining and using the drug. You lose interest in your friends, family and anything else that does not revolve around the drug.