What is PCP?

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a sedative narcotic, also classified as a hallucinogenic narcotic. Developed for use as a surgical anesthetic, it was taken off the market in 1965 for its horrifying side effects. Street use of the drug became popular for a short time in the late 1970s, but few users of PCP exist since the middle of the 1980s, due to the same unpredictable side effects. Created shortly after World War II, PCP was used for a few years and removed from use, due to its hallucinogenic and delusional side effects. It mimics schizophrenic episodes for those who use it, even medicinally, as prescribed. It was reintroduced in the late 1950s and production ceased permanently in 1965, because it had many other serious side effects.

PCP Basics

Phencyclidine (PCP) was first created in 1926. In the 1950s, it was used as an anesthetic, but problems arose with its side effects during clinical trials. It was approved for use as an animal anesthetic, however, and marketed for use in that realm. In the late 1960s, PCP gained popularity as a substance of abuse, which increased in the late 1970s and peaked in the 1980s, then died out somewhat rapidly, due to side effects that were both unpredictable and unpleasant.

PCP Effects

The immediate effects of PCP use are similar to drinking for the observer. The user will appear to be intoxicated, or slightly high (like pot). They will exhibit symptoms that include red or puffy eyes, slurred speech, uncoordinated body movements and unbalanced gait. They may have some mild agitation and/or irritation. These are the symptoms that will most often be seen in users under the influence of small quantities of PCP. Users will experience a sense of detachment and separation that may become more pronounced and lead to possible suicide ideation and attempts.

PCP Addiction

Using PCP regularly creates the cycle of addictive drug abuse with PCP. Because of its addictive properties, PCP is one of the more dangerous drugs. Regular use can become like Russian Roulette. The unpredictable effects of PCP create greater risk, with ongoing use, of an overdose or psychotic experience for the user. How It Begins

PCP Dangers

There are many risks with PCP use. One risk singular to PCP lies in its manufacture, because not made pharmaceutically, but in labs that are uncontrolled. This creates risk for users who do not know the strength or dose they are ingesting. Higher doses of PCP can be deadly, along with long-term side effects of PCP that may be debilitating. These may include, but are not limited to: brain damage, psychosis, psychotic episodes of recall, cognitive damage to memory and perception, growth hormone interception in adolescent users, nervous system damage and/or muscle damage.

PCP Mixing

Mixing PCP with other drugs is very high-risk behavior. Due to the unpredictable nature of PCP side effects, many risks that do not exist with other drugs of abuse become more prevalent with PCP. Alcohol – Sedative narcotics such as PCP raise the risk of overdose in combination with use of other sedative medications, including alcohol. Because the risk for hallucinations and delusional thinking and behavior is so high with PCP use, alcohol can increase the likelihood of reduced inhibitory markers, allowing the user to increase risky behaviors and suicidal ideation.

PCP Legality

PCP, or phencyclidine, was first used as an anesthetic during World War I. It was used for a short time, but found to be unsafe for use, due to the frequency of hallucinations, psychotic symptoms and delusions suffered by those on whom it was used for surgical purposes. In 1957, phencyclidine was repackaged and renamed Sernyl and introduced for testing. Again, the side effects proved to be both dangerous and ill advised, so it was taken off the market completely in 1965.

Drug Tests

PCP is detectable in the system of the user for up to 3 months, depending on the type of test being administered, the frequency and amount of use, and the physical traits of the user. Physical traits can be body fat content, weight and height of the user, age of the user, physical condition of the user, body hydration, and other similar health components of the user. How Phencyclidine Works in the System


What is PCP used for in the medical field? How do I know if I am smoking PCP? What is the risk of having a bad trip on PCP? How can I help someone who has overdosed? How do I “come down” if I have taken too much and begin to have hallucinations or psychotic thoughts?? Why does anyone use PCP? Does stopping PCP cause withdrawals? What is PCP used for in the medical field?