PCP addiction is not as common as other addictions and most of the users are occasional users. It does exist though and this is an incredibly dangerous drug, and one that has a long, bizarre and occasionally scary history. In small doses, it can be as mild as any other drug, but in larger doses, and when the user is predisposed to mental health issues and violence, it can trigger extreme episodes.
PCP often goes by the name “Angel Dust”, will be covered in full in this guide as we look at PCP effects, dangers, medicinal uses and more.
What is PCP?
The full name for PCP is Phencyclidine. It is classed as a dissociative hallucinogenic and is said to be nothing like other popular drugs. It can be taken orally, smoked or snorted and there are many ways to take it. PCP addiction seems to be more common with those who smoke it, but it is more commonly smoked by all users anyway.
The onset of action of Angel Dust is just 2 minutes to 60 minutes, but the half-life can last for as long as 48 hours. It is a schedule II drug in the United States, where it is at its most popular. In Canada, the UK, Netherlands and indeed many other countries, it is in the highest class.
Is PCP Addictive?
Angel Dust is addictive. PCP addiction is not as common as opiate addiction or many other addictions for that matter, but it does exist and it’s not pleasant.
The reason that Angel Dust addiction is not as common is simply because this drug isn’t as popular. Also, unlike heroin, which puts the user in a childhood state for a few hours and makes them want to keep repeating that, or drugs like cocaine, which trigger intense euphoria for 15 minutes, PCP can last for hours and can make the user feel drained afterwards.
With highly addictive drugs the user wants to keep using, even right after their first dose. With Angel Dust, that is not the case. Still, make no mistake about it, Angel Dust exists and it is not pleasant.
Angel Dust Drug
As mentioned already, “Angel Dust” is PCP. This is such a common name that many first-time users have taken the drug without actually knowing it was PCP. There are many other nicknames for PCP and we will discuss these a little further down.
What is the PCP Drug?
PCP was first marketed as a human and animal anesthetic in the 1950s. It remained on the market for a very short time, before it was discontinued and forced onto the black market. There were just too many side effects of PCP for it to remain as a worthwhile drug.
When the drugs companies stopped making Angel Dust, underground laboratories took over. It was taken off the market in the 1960s, at which point there was an increased demand for chemicals like LSD, so it seemed like the perfect time for a drug like this to hit the black market.
PCP Medical Use
As mentioned above, PCP was initially marketed as an anesthetic and to an extent it worked. It does seem to leave the users feeling very numb and able to tolerate pain. However, there are few other medicinal benefits to this drug and the ones that do exist are far outweighed by the side effects.
What is Sherm Drug?
“Sherm” is the term used for a cigarette or joint that has been dipped into embalming fluid and can be very dangerous. It can also used as a term for a cigarette or joint that is dipped into PCP, but in most cases it is embalming fluid and the connections to Angel Dust are primarily based on a misconception.
To learn more about drug names, where they come from and what they are, read out post on Strange Drug Names.
PCP Effects (effects of PCP)
There are many PCP effects, some of which can be considered positive. Users feel stimulated and strong, with a rush of euphoria common in all strong recreational drugs. They may feel like they can take on the world, a feeling that is common in drugs like cocaine and meth, but one that seems to be stronger (mainly because it’s aided by strong delusions) in PCP use.
Some of the other side effects of PCP include:
- Increased anxiety and agitation
- Hyperactivity, inability to sit still
- Uncontrolled eye movements
- Inability to control muscle movements
- Increase body temperature and high blood pressure
These are fairly common side effects of Angel Dust use and they increase with the dose and the inexperience of the user. There are others though, including coma, unconsciousness, seizures and death. The more you take, the greater your chance of suffering from these severe PCP side effects.
You are also more at risk if you suffer from preexisting conditions and should seriously reconsider taking this drug if you have any heart problems or you suffer from any mental illnesses. Anyone suffering from anxiety disorders may feel temporary reprieve, but this can quickly translate into severe paranoia. Anyone suffering from major depression disorders can enter stages of mania, before crashing down into severe melancholy.
Help with PCP Addiction
If you suffer from PCP addiction then you should seek the help of a professional. This is a very serious drug and one that can cause a lot of damage over the long-term. Addicts struggle to keep their lives in order, with relationships and careers falling apart around them. The risk of violence and psychosis may also lead to imprisonment and psyche treatment.
One of the things that a professional will look at when treating PCP addiction is how it has affected you physically and what sort of symptoms the abuse has caused. They will then look to control these with other drugs or with drug-free treatments. They may prescribe drugs like Valium for the extreme anxiety that can be triggered by Angel Dust addiction.
They may prescribe sleeping tables, from prescription strength benzos to over-the-counter hormones like melatonin. Of course, they will want to keep the addict away from additional addictive drugs, because it’s no use swapping PCP addiction with an addiction to opiates or sedatives.
It’s a very delicate balancing act, but throughout all of this the addict will need to remain strong and will need to do a lot of the work. To get to the point of addiction they will have already gone through a lot and will have discovered just how damaging the drug can be. So in many cases it’s just a matter of taking a long hard objective view at their life and understanding that something needs to change. Although, of course, that’s easier said than done.
PCP Street Names
The main street name for PCP is Angel Dust, which is how we have referred to it throughout this article. It is also known by the following names:
- Embalming Fluid
- Rocket Fuel
- Peter Pan
These days it seems that most people who use Angel Dust smoke it. Many people who suffer from PCP addiction report smoking this drug, as opposed to any other method, and it also seems to be the most popular with first-time users.
PCP is a liquid, so it is smoked by first dipping it into a leafy substance and then allowing that substance to become saturated in it. Marijuana (see Effects of Marijuana and Marijuana Addiction) and tobacco (see Nicotine Addiction) are used, but so are regular culinary herbs like mint and herbal smoking mixtures like Wild Opium.