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Drug and Alcohol Information

PCP

PCPSCIENTIFIC TERM:

Phencyclidin

STREET NAMES:

Angel dust, hog, peace pills

EFFECTS:

PCP or angel dust, is an animal anesthetic that has very damaging effects on people. PCP effects are most notable due to the totally detached, sometimes violent, and crazy reactions of people using PCP. The effects of PCP on a person are disturbing. The user is not at all like themselves and can even go into a kind of living nightmare, where monsters are attacking him and life is very unreal. Sometimes the PCP user lives in two different realities, one when using PCP and the other when they are straight.

DRUG FORM & METHOD OF USE:

PCP is a synthetic drug that was originally manufactured in the 1950s as a veterinary anaesthetic. It became widely used in America in the 1970’S, but is very rarely found in the UK It comes in liquid, crystal, pill or powder form and can be smoked in a cigarette, snorted, swallowed or injected.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

PCP is an anaesthetic which has hallucinatory effects. It is regarded as a very powerful drug that can have disturbing effects including distortion of the senses, mood and experience of time, dreamlike states, euphoria or depression, panic attacks, paranoia and aggressive, sometimes violent behaviour. Deaths have been recorded from heart or lung failure.  As with any hallucinogenic drug, people who are already depressed or unstable are more likely to experience negative effects.  Users can build up a tolerance to PCP.  Some people who use PCP become dependent on it. Compulsive daily use and strong craving for the drug are not unusual.

LAW:

PCP is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act as a Class A drug. This puts it in the same category as cocaine and crack, ecstasy, heroin and LSD. Maximum penalties for supplying are life imprisonment and a fine. Maximum penalties for possession are 7 years imprisonment and a fine.

10 Facts

  1. PCP was first patented in 1952 and named Sernyl (referring to serenity), but was withdrawn from the market two years later because of side-effects.
  2. It was renamed Sernylan in 1967, and marketed as a vetinary anesthetic, but again discontinued. Its side-effects and long half-life in the human body made it unsuitable for medical applications.
  3. More than 30 different analogues (forms) of PCP were reported as being used on the street during the 1970s and 1980s, mainly in the USA .
  4. PCP use may lead to a certain type of Brain damage called Olney's Lesions.
  5. PCP was first tested after World War II as a surgical anesthetic. Because of its adverse side-effects, such as hallucinations, mania, delirium, and disorientation, it was shelved until the 1950s.
  6. When smoked, some of it is broken down by heat.
  7. PCP comes in both powder and liquid forms (PCP base is dissolved most often in ether), but typically it is sprayed onto leafy material such as marijuana, mint, oregano, parsley, or ginger leaves, then smoked.
  8. The term "embalming fluid" is often used to refer to the liquid PCP in which a cigarette or joint is dipped, to be ingested through smoking. Smoking PCP is known as "getting wet."
  9. The slang term "embalming fluid" likely originated from PCP's somatic "numbing" effect and the feeling of physical dissociation from the body.
  10. In its powder form, PCP can be insufflated, (inhaled).

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