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All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

The risk of dependency and addiction plays a role in any form of hallucinogen use. PCP, one of the more commonly known hallucinogens, can breed a physical dependency in the body when used for prolonged periods of time. Once a physical dependency takes hold, withdrawal symptoms from PCP start to surface.

Like most hallucinogens, PCP has a dissociative effect that essentially disconnects users from the world around them. The dosage amount ingested has a considerable bearing on the types of effects a person will experience. Mood and environment also influence PCP’s effects.

With frequent use, PCP users develop cravings for the drug, which leads to drug-seeking behavior. Withdrawal symptoms from PCP further intensify a person’s cravings for the drug. Likewise, withdrawal symptoms from PCP feed into the intensity of cravings a person experiences.

PCP Addictions

phencyclidine withdrawal

Paranoid thinking, sweating and shaking are some of the symptoms of PCP withdrawal.

Initially, PCP was developed as general anesthetic, according to the University of Maryland. As newer forms of anesthesia were developed, PCP became obsolete in terms of its medicinal value.

As a street drug, PCP is available in capsule, tablet and powder form. Users can snort, smoke, inject or take the drug orally in pill form, though smoking tends to be preferred method of use.

PCP addiction can produce a range of damaging effects in a person’s life –

  • Relationship losses
  • Decline in work performance leading to loss of employment
  • Financial problems
  • Problems with the law
  • Decline in physical health
  • Psychological disorders

PCP’S effects bring about intense hallucinations caused by massive amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals flowing through the brain. These neurotransmitters regulate most every vital function in the body as well as maintain a person’s psychological stability.

The brain can only take so many PCP episodes before major bodily systems start to break down. Withdrawal symptoms from PCP take shape as bodily functions start to break down.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms from PCP

PCP dosage amounts pretty much determine the degree of damage the drug causes. At dosage levels below five milligrams, physical withdrawal symptoms from PCP take the form of –

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Vision problems
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excess sweating

At dosage amounts above five milligrams, effects experienced may include –

  • Seizures
  • Coma state
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Considerable weight loss
  • Numbness throughout the body

In effect, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms experienced indicates the degree of damage done to brain functions. People struggling with long-time PCP addictions stand to experience the most intense withdrawal effects.

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms from PCP

While the body stands a good chance of fully recovering from any damage done, psychological withdrawal symptoms from PCP may well persist for years after a person stops using the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms may include –

  • Hallucinatory “flashbacks”
  • Paranoid thinking
  • Loss of memory
  • Anxiety episodes
  • Speech pattern distortions
  • Violent behavior tendencies
  • Full-blown psychosis
  • Suicidal ideations

Chemical imbalances in the brain become more pronounced with ongoing use, gradually altering the brain’s physical structures over time. After a certain point, deteriorated brain functions leave users in a state of diminished mental capacity.

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