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All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

Phencyclidine, also known as PCP or angel dust, was initially formulated to act as an anesthetic agent, but adverse side effects outweighed the drug’s medicinal benefits. In spite of the drug’s adverse effects, phencyclidine continues to be used as a recreational drug.

According to the U. S. Department of the Interior, unlike other types of drugs that produce either “upper” or “downer” effects, phencyclidine effects both stimulate and depress brain and central nervous functions all at once. For this reason, phencyclidine effects can bring on serious health consequences when used on a regular basis.

Phencyclidine belongs to the hallucinogen class of drugs, known for their ability to place users in an “other-worldly” state of mind. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, hallucinations, euphoria, feelings of invincibility and confidence characterize the effects brought on by the drug.

Unfortunately, phencyclidine effects only last for so long before users experience any number of unexpected aftereffects from the drug. Here are five unintended phencyclidine effects to watch out for –

1. Sedation and Loss of Inhibitions

Phencyclidine produces varied effects depending on the dosage amount taken. When inhaled or snorted, a person may experience the drug’s effects in as soon as 15 minutes.

Dosage amounts of one to five milligrams can produce symptoms of sedation and loss of inhibitions. In this state, a person can become extremely aggressive as well as lose the ability to form coherent sentences or connect with those around him or her.

2. Psychotic-Type Behaviors

PCP abuse

Phencyclidine can cause paranoia and psychotic behaviors.

Phencyclidine effects tend to grow more pronounced the higher the dosage amount ingested. Dosage levels of five to 10 milligrams can cause users to display psychotic-type behaviors, some of which include –

  • Paranoia
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Schizophrenia
  • Extreme agitation
  • Catatonic-like behaviors

These effects place users at considerable risk of engaging in dangerous acts, such as jumping from buildings, walking into traffic as well as self-harming behaviors like piercing one’s own eye.

3. Heart Irregularities

As phencyclidine effects both stimulate and depress central nervous system functions, this drug can disrupt a person’s heart functions in dangerous ways. In high enough doses, phencyclidine can impair heart processes and bring about one or more of the following conditions –

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest
  • Constricted artery passageways, also known as vasospasm

4. Abstinence Effects

For someone trying to abstain from phencyclidine use, this drug can bring on some fairly severe withdrawal effects, some of which include –

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

In the case of chronic drug use, phencyclidine effects can leave a person in a permanent psychotic state when coming off the drug.

5. Addiction

Like most other hallucinogens, phencyclidine effects may or may not cause a person to develop a physical dependency on the drug; however, regular users remain at high risk of becoming addicted. Addiction takes hold once a person reaches a point where he or she “needs” the drug’s effects to cope with everyday life. As with any other type of addiction, phencyclidine addicts will neglect friends, family and even work responsibilities in order to feed the addiction drive.

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