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PCP: Breaking Down its Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms
“PCP: Breaking Down its Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms”
PCP is considered one of the most dangerous drugs that a person can abuse. It presents a very real threat, not only for the user, but also for the people around him.
Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a synthetic dissociative drug that is known for causing recreational users to act violently. It produces dangerous hallucinations while promoting aggressive behavior. It also makes the person feel indestructible; often causing them to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.
Family members, law enforcement officers, and hospital personnel could find it very hard to deal with a PCP-addicted individual.
Today we are going to break down some of the most common—and most dangerous effects of this drug.
What Are the Abuse Statistics?
PCP is often available in different forms like white powder, capsules, tablets, crystals, or liquid. It has a distinctive bitter taste, which doesn’t seem to turn people off, because PCP was one of the most frequently abused drugs in the 60s.
The good news is that it is no longer as popular as it once was, and the numbers are on a steady decline.
In fact, it was reported that in 2015, only 0.06% of the population aged 12 years and older reported to having used PCP recreationally at some point in the last year. This is a significant decrease compared to the 2002 recorded average of 6.2 per year.
What are the Signs of Abuse?
Despite this steady decline in PCP usage, it remains a threat to those who do abuse the drug, as well as those that surround them. If you think someone you know is abusing PCP, there are a few signs you can look out for.
If the person acts uncharacteristically aggressive, or reporting feelings of invulnerability, they may have recently taken PCP. This drug is also known as Angel Dust, among many other street names, so also watch out for that.
Aside from the fact that they seem willing to harm themselves or the people around them, they will also display a lack of ability to make rational decisions. On top of all this, they will feel no pain.
What Are its Physical Effects?
The physical effects of PCP are more frequently associated with short term abuse. They may find it difficult to breathe, they may sweat excessively, and they may have numb extremities.
Some people experience nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, hypertension, muscle spasms, and lack of coordination. In some cases, the user’s eyes start flickering up and down.
When a person gets addicted, they develop tolerance and begin craving more and more of the drug just to get the same effects.
What Are Its Psychological Effects?
Psychological effects of PCP often stem from long term abuse. The effects can ruin a person’s life. Depression sets in, the person becomes unable to think clearly—they may even have difficulty speaking. It is at this point that many PCP abusers begin isolating themselves from others.
They may suffer from memory problems, hear things that are not there, see things that others don’t, or become extremely agitated.
A person who is high on PCP can even display a psychotic state that lasts longer with continued use.
Other psychological effects include paranoia, lack of motivation, attention problems, amnesia, and psychosis.
What Are Its Withdrawal Symptoms?
As bad as these effects may be, an addicted individual should not quit using it abruptly. Withdrawal can be fatal, and if it doesn’t lead to death, it may cause coma, or make a person become suicidal. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person.
Other common withdrawal symptoms are memory loss, confusion, anxiety, and depression.
How can an Addicted Person Get Better?
Recovery is still possible for people who are addicted to PCP. It is important that they undergo medically supervised detoxification, so find the best rehabilitation facility near you and get them on the path to recovery.
A good addiction treatment center will be able to remove the residual PCP from a person’s body. These residues, like LSD and marijuana, get stored in fatty tissues. These residues must be eliminated so that the person could go back to living a sober life.
Behavioral therapy could also work wonders in helping the person readjust to their drug-free lifestyle.