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In the early 1990s, PCP became popular among high school and college students as a party drug. It’s also known as angel dust, hog, ozone, and rocket fuel. PCP is a dissociative drug that induces hallucinations, distorted sensory experiences, and an altered state of consciousness.
Because it’s so unpredictable and unsafe, PCP is illegal to buy, sell or possess. If you suspect someone you love is using PCP, read on to learn more about the dangers of using this drug so you can take action to help them get treatment sooner rather than later.
PCP (phencyclidine) is a dissociative drug that was developed as an anesthetic and general anesthetic by Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical in the 1950s. It was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s in the operating room to induce anesthesia. However, it was taken off the market because it caused severe psychological effects such as delirium, amnesia and hallucinations. PCP is also addictive and causes severe health problems, leading to its complete removal from common medical practice.
PCP is a white crystalline powder that can be found in a liquid form. It can be eaten, snorted, injected or smoked and it has a strong chemical odor. PCP is often dissolved in solvent, such as ether, before being added to a liquid or sprinkled on leafy plant material such as parsley or mint, which is then smoked. But in most cases PCP will look just like a normal cigarette.
Dangers of PCP
Taking PCP can lead to severe short-term complications such as:
- Heart attack
Signs of PCP Abuse
There are some signs that might indicate that someone you love is abusing PCP. Keep in mind that the physical effects of PCP on the body will not always show up right away. It takes a few hours for the drug to take effect, so signs of use or even overdoes are not immediately detectable. Some signs that a person may be abusing PCP include:
- A blank stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and exaggerated gaits are among the more visible manifestations of a mixture of drugs.
- Numbness of the extremities, slurred speech, and loss of coordination may be accompanied by a feeling of strength and invulnerability.
- Auditory hallucinations, image distortion, severe mood disorders, and amnesia may also result.
- Acute anxiety and a sense of impending doom, paranoia, violent hostility, and a psychosis that is virtually indistinguishable from schizophrenia are all possible.
Tolerance and Dependence Issues
Like other drugs, PCP has the potential to become addictive. Someone who abuses PCP regularly will develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning that they will need more of it over time to get the same effect. This can lead to an increased risk of overdose as well as other serious health problems. Long-term abuse of PCP can lead to other physical and mental problems, including: Damage to the nervous system which can lead to problems with movement and speech. Sexual problems that can include impotence and problems with menstruation. Hallucinations that lead to paranoia and disorganized thinking.
How to Help Someone With PCP Abuse Problems
If you suspect a loved one is using PCP, it’s important to take action right away. If you are able to get your loved one to detox and treatment as soon as possible, there is a much better chance of recovery. Here are some steps to help a loved one who is abusing PCP:
- Calmly discuss the problem—it’s important not to accuse a loved one of using drugs or to put them on the defensive.
- Show your loved one that you care and that you want to help.
- Encourage your loved one to get treatment for their drug abuse problems.
- Get your loved one involved in a support group.
Detox With Briarwood
Briarwood Detox Center offers detox treatment for alcohol, opioid, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and much more. Our experienced clinical staff provides round-the-clock monitoring throughout the detox process and our therapy team provides support to help manage the emotional response to treatment. Additionally, we have detox facilities located in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs with state-of-the-art amenities.
Briarwood is dedicated to facilitating a healthy and safe environment that empowers people to make significant and lasting changes in their lives. We look forward to supporting you or your loved one on the journey to recovery. Call (512) 277 – 3103 today for more information on our programs and admission process.
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