Phencyclidine Dot Org

All About Phencyclidine, Also Known As PCP

PCP is a drug of abuse that is normally a white and crystalline powder. Sometimes, it can be brown, a color which is caused by the presence of contaminants in the drug. As a liquid it appears as clear or yellow in color. According to the DOI, PCP “acts both as a depressant and a hallucinogen, and sometimes as a stimulant.” Its actual name is phencyclidine.

PCP is abused for the effects it causes, most commonly the fact that it is mind-altering and causes hallucinations, stronger sensations, and a feeling of power or invulnerability. This is also one of the factors that can make PCP abuse highly dangerous. Those who abuse PCP can experience psychosis, addiction, overdose, and death.

History of PCP

PCP wasn’t created as a recreational drug originally. According to the DOJ, “PCP… was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic.” It was found that, when used on humans, it created many behavioral and potentially unsafe side effects, such as irritability, agitation, delusions, and irrationality. Because of this, PCP was taken off the market as an anesthetic (expect sometimes when used as a large animal tranquilizer), but it is still highly abused today (DOI).

How is PCP Abused?

pcp abuse

PCP is commonly found in a white or crystalline powder form.

PCP is abused by:

  • Ingesting a pill, capsule, or tablet
  • Injecting
  • Smoking
  • Snorting

Many times, PCP is abused with other drugs which strengthens the effects one feels from other substances. For example, it is smoked with marijuana by many individuals and is sprinkled onto other drugs or substances.

PCP is often “sold under the guise of a number of other drugs.” According to CESAR, some pills containing PCP also contain other drugs like “ketamine, pseudo/ephedrine, caffeine, or methamphetamine” and are falsely sold as MDMA (also called ecstasy or molly).

Street Names for PCP

As a drug that has been abused for almost five decades, PCP has many street names. In fact, the term PCP actually comes from “The PeaCe Pill,” which was a term for the substance when it was manufactured as a drug of abuse in the mid-1960s (CESAR). Some of the other common street names for PCP are:

  • Angel Dust
  • Belladonna
  • Zoom
  • Peace Pills
  • Boat
  • STP
  • Super Grass
  • Embalming Fluid
  • Sherm Sticks
  • Boat
  • Amoeba
  • Amp
  • Animal Tank

PCP, when combined with other drugs, has other street terms, including:

  • Marijuana and PCP
    • Wet
    • Love Boat
    • Illy
    • Dippers
    • Fry Sticks
    • Dust Blunt
    • Happy Stick
  • PCP and MDMA
    • Pikachu
    • Elephant Flipping

All of these combinations can be highly dangerous to abuse, and even straight PCP is very strong and can cause many side effects, both short term and long term.

What is the Legal Status of PCP?

According to the DOJ, “PCP is illegal.” It is now labeled as a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The drug is illegal because of the many issues it can cause, including:

  • Psychosis
  • Flashbacks
  • Memory problems
  • Convulsions
  • Addiction
  • Dependence
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Death

However, the fact that it is illegal does not keep people from abusing it. PCP is still a highly abused, recreational drug even though its effects are extremely dangerous.

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