PCP is an extremely dangerous drug that impacts the body in a variety of ways. If you or a loved one is suffering from PCP addiction, contact Transformations Treatment for help.
Phencyclidine, more commonly known as PCP, is a hallucinogenic first used in the 1950s as an anesthetic. It wasn’t until the 60s and 70s that recreational PCP use grew in popularity. Soon after PCP was introduced to the streets, it quickly gained a negative reputation based on some of the bad reactions it caused. It never became overly popular in comparison to other drugs of choice.
However, in recent years, PCP has made a strong comeback and is currently popular in its liquid form. Being a cheap high, many users will dip their cigarettes in PCP, resulting in mind-altering effects. PCP can also be swallowed, smoked, or snorted.
When sold as a powder, PCP is typically white — this means that the drug is in its purest form. However, coloration can range from dark brown to white. If PCP is brown, this is usually due to the manufacturing process. This is usually due to unreacted chemicals and contaminants, which can lead to serious side effects. Like any illicit drug, you can never be certain what has been mixed with your drug of choice. One of the most dangerous cutting agents is fentanyl, which is resulting in an immense amount of accidental overdoses.
PCP has a direct effect on the brain, impacting NMDA, glutamate, dopamine, opioid, and nicotinic receptors. Due to the way in which it affects users, many consider PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. This is based on its ability to cause users to feel completely distant, estranged, and detached from their immediate environment — which can be deadly.
In one Washington Post article, a PCP user reflects on her friend’s tragic death after being accidentally lit on fire. The drug’s effects can be unpredictable and prior to her friend’s death, the user reported that someone else she knew threw themselves off a roof while high on PCP. “It’s a high that numbs your head,” she said.
While high on PCP, users will experience:
When taken in low doses, users may experience a range of physiological effects, including:
When taken in higher doses, these physiological effects may include:
Some users experience seizures, coma, and death — which is typically associated with accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication. Since PCP induces sedative effects, when combined with other central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines or alcohol, users face an increased risk of accidental overdose or coma.
When taking doses of 5 to 10 mg orally, PCP has been shown to induce acute schizophrenia. This is why PCP is used in animal experimental studies to investigate the neurochemical basis of schizophrenia. Even low doses of PCP have been shown to produce patterns of neurochemical and metabolic changes in rodent brains that resemble the brains of schizophrenic patients.
Many users report increased feelings of strength. However, there is no evidence to support this. The drug itself does not increase muscle power. Instead, it causes aggressive behavior and users likely perceive that they have superhuman strength.
PCP is an addictive substance that often leads to psychological dependence, compulsive seeking behaviors, and cravings. Regular users will also experience withdrawal symptoms when they discontinue use. These symptoms include but are not limited to depression, sleepiness, sweating, headaches, and changes in appetite.
Characterized as repeated drug use despite serious consequences, PCP addicts will often distance themselves from friends and family, experience problems at work or school, showcase changes in mood and personality, experience flashbacks, and continue to use in order to address cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.
According to the latest DSM-5, you will be diagnosed with a PCP addiction if you meet two or more of the criteria within a 12-month period:
Although PCP causes the classic symptoms of addiction, as described above, researchers have found that PCP may also alter the brain. A 2007 study, published in the California Journal of Emergency Medicine, found that PCP increases dopamine and norepinephrine production. Dopamine plays a critical role in the brain’s pleasure and reward brain system. When used repeatedly, PCP can alter the way in which users experience pleasure and motivation. This can result in intense cravings.
Long-term users may exhibit symptoms related to their PCP addiction, these include:
While PCP addiction isn’t as common as other addictions, such as opioid addiction or alcoholism, when you’re aiming to overcome an addiction to PCP, the approach taken is the same as any other drug of choice. Each individual is assessed based on their unique circumstances and needs.
The first step in treating your PCP addiction will be to stabilize your body by eliminating PCP from your system. In order to do so, you will need to undergo the detoxification process. By seeking the support of a professional medical detox facility, you will be able to ease symptoms of withdrawal and increase your chances of success.
This is very important because although symptoms of withdrawal only last for approximately a week (depending on the severity of your addiction), they are so uncomfortable that there’s a high risk of relapse. Medical detox can help combat those symptoms so that you can progress to the next phase of your treatment plan.
After you have successfully completed the detox stage, ongoing treatment will be required. Once again, the treatment you receive will be highly customized. The goal is to address any underlying mental health conditions that contribute to your addiction, allowing you to develop healthier coping mechanisms.
Your road to recovery will begin the moment you decide to seek treatment. At Transformations, once you arrive, you can take comfort in knowing that we will help you every step of the way. First, you will undergo an assessment. That way, we can better understand your unique needs. While your treatment plan can adapt to your needs as you progress, your initial plan will focus on your addiction and any underlying mental (or physical) health considerations.
We understand that each individual is unique and that they come from varying walks of life, which is why we offer so many treatment options, all of which are evidence-based and run by a team of licensed professionals. Just some of the options we offer include, but are not limited to our:
We also offer:
The message here is that your treatment should be flexible, adapting to your specific needs. What works for one client does not work for the next. That is why we work closely with our clients to build the type of customized plan that will increase their chances of not only getting clean but staying clean. Your road to recovery is not a race, it’s a marathon, and in order to remain on track, you require support.
No matter what your circumstances are, we have a solution. You no longer need to remain a slave to your addiction. You deserve a healthier, more fulfilling life — let us help you achieve the quality of life you desire. At Transformations, we believe in restoring hope, creating purpose, and changing lives.
Please do not let your PCP addiction run your life any longer. We’re just a phone call away.
Contact us to discuss your options — today could be the beginning of your new life.