Phencyclidine (PCP)

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a very powerful drug that is both a stimulant and a depressant and typically induces hallucinations. In its pure form (freebase), it appears as clear, solid crystals. Today, all of the PCP found on the illicit market is produced in clandestine laboratories and may appear as a clear, yellow or tan-colored liquid. It can be taken orally, snorted, injected or sprayed onto marijuana or tobacco and smoked.

Facts

Highly addictive

Known for “killing” pain, creating a false sense of great strength

Makes users extremely dangerous to others

Causes irregular heart rate, seizures and coma

Street names include embalming fluid, wet, fry, angel dust, crystal and rocket fuel

Appears in clear crystal or liquid form and is snorted, smoked or eaten

Is frequently found hidden in joints or cigarettes

Accompanying paraphernalia consists of tobacco or marijuana cigarettes and small glass vials

Commonly seen in emergency rooms across the U.S., causing hallucinations and irrational behavior. Again, also found hiding in joints or cigarettes (often placed there by dealers who want to addict their users, so those users will return for more of their particular “brand” of marijuana)

Effects

PCP’s effects vary depending on the amount of the drug taken, environmental conditions and the user’s past drug experience. Using PCP can cause multiple and dramatic behavioral changes. Combining PCP with other depressants, including alcohol, can result in coma and death. Low to moderate doses may cause physiological effects such as elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse rate, shallow respiration, profuse sweating, numbness of the extremities and loss of muscular coordination. Psychological effects include heightened alertness, out of body sensations, loss of inhibitions, failure to feel pain and may lead to aggressive and violent behavior.

High doses of PCP may cause coma, irregular heart rate and seizures. Psychological effects may include hallucinations and schizophrenia-like symptoms of delusion and mental turmoil. Many PCP users may experience flashbacks, memory loss, speech difficulties, depression and weight loss.

PCP is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. It has a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

What PCP does to your

Brain—Causes confusion, agitation, fever, excessive salivation, schizophrenic-type behavior seizures, respiratory failure, coma, fever,
stroke and death.

Heart—Causes a pronounced rise in blood pressure and pulse rate, but at higher doses, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate and
respiration. High doses man also cause seizures, coma and death (though death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication).

Lungs—Causes respiratory depression and arrest.