Phencyclidine Dot Org

All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

PCP addiction is very serious and can result in hospitalization, coma, and even death. When someone has been regularly abusing PCP, like many other drugs, withdrawal symptoms will occur if the individual stops using it. Here are 5 symptoms of PCP withdrawal.

1. Depression

pcp addiction

Withdrawal from PCP usually involves depressive periods and drug cravings.

Withdrawal from PCP causes depression in many individuals, which is a direct response to the mind-altering effects of PCP. As stated by OASAS, withdrawal from PCP is “similar to cocaine withdrawal,” being that some effects of the drug are stimulant-like in nature. Though PCP creates feelings of euphoria in low doses, high doses often cause hallucinations and erratic behavior. When the individual is no longer using PCP, he or she is brought to a low point, causing depression.

Other effects similar to cocaine addiction in PCP withdrawal are:

  • Weight loss
  • Appetite increase
  • Drowsiness
  • Increase in sleep
  • Lack of energy

2. Cravings

Cravings for PCP are very strong during the withdrawal process. A person who has been addicted to the drug will continue to feel the cravings even after withdrawal has ended. This desire for the drug can last up to a year or so. NHTSA states that cravings for PCP can lead to “drug seeking behavior,” where people will do anything to get the drug, putting themselves into dangerous situations. An inpatient center will provide a controlled environment where the person can detox and be closely monitored to prevent this behavior.

3. Psychosis

Sometimes, even while going through withdrawal from PCP, a person may still experience the psychotic effects of the drug. Flashbacks like those associated with LSD abuse often occur, and a person going through PCP withdrawal should be treated “in a quiet and isolated an environment as possible” (OASAS). According to NCBI, “the persistence of psychotic symptoms may represent an underlying psychiatric disorder that may require medical treatment.” This is why it is important to go to a hospital or detox center when experiencing withdrawal from PCP.

4. Physical Discomfort

PCP withdrawal causes physical discomfort for many of those addicted to the drug. Muscles become rigid, and sometimes Valium can be given at a detox facility to treat this symptom (OASAS). Many people also experience involuntary twitching or movement of the muscles and limbs. Patients often become very uncomfortable and agitated when undergoing PCP withdrawal.

5. Memory Loss

This is another symptom that persists after the initial withdrawal from PCP has ended. According to CESAR, “PCP disrupts the functioning of receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays a major role in… learning, memory, and emotion.” Memory loss can last for upwards of a year after the person detoxes from PCP and can be very difficult for the addicted individual as well as friends and loved ones.

PCP withdrawal can be difficult, painful, and terrifying, but the drug itself causes many other effects that endanger the individual. If you believe you have become addicted to PCP and are nervous about the symptoms of withdrawal, you can find help at a detox center or inpatient clinic. Also remember that these symptoms can be eased in a place like this and that you won’t be as tempted to seek more of the drug, putting you on your way to recovery.

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