Phencyclidine Dot Org

All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

PCP, a synthetically made dissociative drug, was originally intended for use as an anesthetic agent. According to the University of Maryland, PCP produces feelings of detachment from the self as well as one’s external environment. When used for recreational purposes, the risk of PCP overdose becomes a very real possibility.

pcp addiction

Loss of control over one’s movements and an unstable mental state are potential signs of overdose.

PCP effects on the brain and body can be frighteningly disturbing to the casual onlooker. In effect, a PCP overdose overwhelms the brain’s ability to regulate bodily processes leaving users in a dangerous physical and psychological state.

Since this drug normally produces drastic effects, signs of PCP overdose are fairly easy to spot. As with any overdose event, someone experiencing a PCP overdose requires immediate medical attention.

PCP Effects on the Brain

When ingested, PCP quickly enters the brain and targets the brain cell sites that produce glutamate, a vital neurotransmitter chemical. According to the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, glutamate chemical levels regulate pain perception, emotional responses as well as cognitive processes.

PCP also interacts with dopamine-producing brain cells. These interactions play a bit part in producing the feelings of euphoria and energy users experience.

With a PCP overdose, the drug’s effects overwhelm the brain’s ability to maintain any form of equilibrium. Consequently, bodily processes start to shut down once brain chemical processes spin out of control

PCP Effects on the Body

PCP can produce different effects on the body depending on the dosage amount ingested. A low dose of PCP has a stimulating effect on central nervous system functions. Users will likely experience –

  • An increase in breathing rates
  • Elevated blood pressure levels
  • Increase in pulse rates
  • Excess sweating
  • A rise in body temperature level

In high doses, PCP has an opposite effect in that it slows down central nervous system processes causing –

  • Decreases in blood pressure level
  • Decrease in pulse rate
  • Decrease in respiration
  • A distorted sense or awareness of one’s body

The risk of PCP overdose increases the larger the dosage amount.

PCP Overdose Symptoms

PCP’s effects on the mind offer the most visible signs of an overdose episode. Since PCP disrupts the brain’s cognitive and emotional functions, a person enters into a world of “make-believe” as chemical levels skew widely out of balance, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. In effect, the drug produces an altered state of consciousness that may or may not be able to regulate vital bodily processes.

When too large a dose is ingested, overdose symptoms to watch out for include –

  • Violent behavior displays
  • Convulsions
  • Inability to control one’s movements
  • Loss of coordination
  • Comatose state
  • Rapid, side-to-side eye movements
  • Hallucinations

Considerations

While the physical effects of a PCP overdose can be life threatening, the mental state a person is in poses just as much of a threat to his or her overall safety. An altered state of consciousness can drive a person to jump off a building, attack someone else or mutilate his or herself. In effect, overdose episodes can leave users in a psychotic state that lasts for days or even weeks at a time.

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