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All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

pcp abuse

Feeling drug cravings is a sign of addiction.

PCP is a very dangerous and addictive drug. Because it can be abused through a variety of methods (smoked, snorted, injected, taken orally) and it is also easy to dissolve, PCP has a danger of being mixed into many different substances and abused in low and high doses. Here are 10 signs that of PCP addiction.

1. Dependency

If you have been using PCP for a while, chances are you will become or have become psychologically dependent on the drug. Though physical dependence is not exhibited as compared to other drugs, “psychological dependence on PCP is known to be high” (DOI).

2. Cravings

These feelings of relying on the drug will be strong, even if the individual does not use PCP every day. This will cause intense cravings and need for PCP in addicted individuals.

3. Memory Loss

Long-term use of PCP can cause memory loss. The drug’s mind-altering effects can be very dangerous to a person and eventually begin to affect him or her even when the drug has not recently been consumed. According to NHTSA, this symptom can “last up to a year after cessation of use.”

4. Speech Issues

A person who is addicted to PCP will usually begin to develop speech issues. The individual could stutter or slur words, even when not taking the drug, and speech may become so difficult, he or she may not be able to speak at all.

5. Drug-Seeking Behavior

Someone addicted to the drug will begin to exhibit “compulsive PCP-seeking behavior, despite severe adverse consequences” (NIDA). This means that those addicted will attempt to get more PCP, no matter what the cost to their health, family and friends, or anyone else.

6. “Runs”

Exhibiting a behavior called “runs” is a strong sign that a person is addicted to PCP. According to CESAR, “chronic users may binge use PCP, taking it repeatedly for 2 or 3 days at a time without eating or sleeping, followed by a period of sleep.” This can happen as often as four times a month.

7. Toxic Psychosis

A person with no history of psychotic episodes may begin to exhibit them when chronically abusing PCP. This can include symptoms of “aggressive or hostile behavior, paranoia, delusional thinking and auditory hallucinations” (CESAR).

8. Depression

Depression can be a sign of PCP addiction. When a person is not currently using the drug, he or she might be plagued with feelings of depression as the cravings for PCP are incredibly strong. The individual might feel as if PCP is the only thing that makes him or her feel happy or alive.

9. Withdrawal

If you are experiencing withdrawal from PCP, you already have a strong addiction to the drug. OASAS states that PCP’s withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Increased sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
  • Similar to the feelings and symptoms associated with cocaine withdrawal

10. Flashbacks

PCP causes flashbacks that are not unlike those associated with LSD. A hallucination seen while on PCP may come back to the individual later, with no warning. It can be very traumatic.

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