Phencyclidine has generated a lot of controversy since its development in the 1950’s. Its use in medical facilities stopped some few years later because of the severe side effects that it brings about. These include confusion, hallucination, delirium and impaired mental capacity. Originally, the drug was used as an anesthetic. The drug is also known to have hallucinogenic, palliative (analgesic) as well as numbing properties. In most cases, the drug is used for veterinary purposes. However, due to its ability to bring about euphoria, the drug has been quite popular with recreational users in spite of its potential to cause side effects.
In its pure form, phencyclidine is a crystalline powder which is very soluble in alcohol and water and incorporates a distinctive vinegary chemical taste. However, when produced in the illegal drug market, the drug comes with a variety of contaminants, thanks to the makeshift manufacturing carried out in illegal labs. This results in color changes, varying from brown to tan. Its consistency also varies, ranging from a gummy mass to a powder.
Phencyclidine comes in various forms including capsules, colored powders and tablets, which may either be taken orally, through intravenous injection or even snorted intra-nasally. What comes as phencyclidine in liquid form is actually its base that is mostly dissolved in a highly flammable solvent, called ether. When individuals are smoking it, they spray it onto leafy substances such as oregano, marijuana, mint and parsley.
This substance is marketed illegally under a variety of names such as Hog, angel dust, lovely, embalming fluid, and rocket fuel, all of which speak of the drug’s volatile and bizarre effects. When blended with marijuana, it goes by street names such as killer joints and super grass. These are known to affect the central nervous system, thereby producing sensory deprivation syndrome.
Like many other drugs that affect the functioning of the central nervous system, phencyclidine is known to be habit-forming, more so when taken in large doses or over prolonged periods of time. A regular user will experience intense cravings and start compulsively seeking the drug, regardless of its capacity for severe damaging effects.
There are variations in the effects of the drug, mainly based on the dose taken, the amount one uses, and how it is administered. When taken in small doses, the drug brings about feelings of relaxation, euphoria, numbness, feelings of disorientation from one’s environment and body, sensory distortion, anxiety, amnesia, confusion, illogical speech, blank staring and blurred vision. Medium doses bring about confusion, severe agitation and fever, analgesia, delusions, hallucination, excessive salivation, schizophrenic behavior, disordered thinking and paranoia.
High doses can bring about more serious effects such as respiratory failure, seizures, convulsions, stroke, fever, coma and death. Keeping in mind that the development of this drug is illegal and undertaken in the backstreets, it would be a herculean task to determine the exact amount that a user has taken, which heightens the risk of overdose on Phencyclidine. This underlines the importance of stopping use of the drug as fast as possible, preferably with the guidance of qualified medical practitioners.