Pphencyclidine (PCP) is a hallucinogenic drug that was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic. Its use was later discontinued due to severe side effects. Users mainly abuse the drug to escape from reality, to take a “trip.”
Often sold on the illicit drug market, PCP is available in tablet, capsule or colored powder form and normally is smoked, snorted or ingested orally. When smoked, PCP is often combined with marijuana, parsley, mint, oregano or another leafy plant. Depending on the method used, PCP effects can last from four to six hours. Symptoms can mimic those of schizophrenia, including paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and a sense of being detached from the environment.
Other psychological side effects can include mood disturbances, particularly anxiety. Long-time PCP abusers may suffer memory loss, depression, weight loss and difficulties with speech and thinking. These symptoms may persist up to one year after stopping use of PCP. Highly addictive, PCP can lead to craving and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior. Professional treatment is required to overcome PCP addiction.