What is Phencyclidine (PCP)?

Phencyclidine, better known as PCP, is an illegal drug that causes hallucinogens and delirium. PCP comes in many forms,including a tablet, capsule, liquid, spray, or crystal-like power that can be swallowed, smoked, sniffed, snorted, or injected.

Effects of PCP:

Low doses cause users experience:

- act without thinking
- hallucinations
- euphoria
- feelings of emptiness
- numbness
- aggressive
- belligerent
- agitated
- impulsive

High doses can cause users to experience:

- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- flushing
- sweating
- dizziness
- numbness
- a stupor or daze that can last for several days

The effects of PCP are unpredictable. The drug can trigger violence behavior or irreversible psychosis. Heavy users develop intense cravings and may get high two or more times a day.

Health Risks

Physical Symptoms:

- involuntary eye movements
- repetitive motor movements such as facial grimacing
- painful sensitivity to sound
- increased blood pressure or heart rate
- numbness or diminished responsiveness to pain
- impaired coordination and speech
- muscle rigidity
- seizures

Taking large amounts of PCP lead to:

- convulsions
- heart and lung failure
- coma
- ruptured blood vessels in the brain
- death


Because PCP users may not feel pain, they often participate in self-destructive behavior. This often requires emergency treatment; hospitalization may be recommended because the user may need to be sedated, supervised, and get supportive treatment. There are two types of medications that are used to treat PCP Abuse; they are anti-anxiety medications like BuSpar and Benzodiazepines and anti-psychotic medications.

Anti-anxiety medications:

Anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam,better known as Valium, is commonly used to treat someone who is anxious and agitated.

Anti-psychotic medications:

Anti-anxiety medications are given when the PCP user experiences delusional symptoms, hallucinations, or feel paranoid.