Phencyclidine Dependence

Phencyclidine Dependence

Phencyclidine Dependence

Phencyclidine dependence is characterized by tolerance to increasing doses to achieve the desired effect, inability to control one’s intake, and continued use despite an awareness of the harmful effects.

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a hallucinogenic drug used recreationally for its mind-altering effects, particularly its ability to induce a dissociative state. It’s a Schedule II drug, which means people are quick to become addicted and dependent on it. The street names of PCP include angel dust, peace pills, and belladonna, among others.

PCP is available in tablet, capsule, or powder form and can be smoked, snorted, or ingested orally. Injecting it is rare. It may also be mixed with cannabis / marijuana, tobacco, and/or other substances. Depending on the method used, PCP effects can last from four to six hours, but the body is not free of the substance for about a week. PCP use has a high risk of causing seizures or a coma, and users are also more at risk of acting out suicidal thoughts or doing life-threatening activities.

Prevalence

As of 2017, approximately 3% of those over the age of 25 in the US reported using PCP at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of Opioid Dependency:

Mental, behavioral, and psychological effects of PCP include:

  • Psychotic symptoms – hallucinations, delusional beliefs, paranoia, feelings of omnipotence or of having “superpowers,” communication with “the gods,” and a sense of not being in touch with reality or “losing one’s mind.” Their words make no sense.
  • Mood disturbances – anxiety, euphoria, irritability, agitation, aggression, suicidal thoughts, apathy, depression, rage
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Difficulties with speech
  • Suicidal behavior

Physical effects of PCP include:

  • Increased strength
  • Tachycardia – a fast heart rate, shallow and rapid breathing, sweating
  • Raised blood pressure, dizziness
  • Muscle cramps and twitching, writhing, uncoordinated body movements, seizures, convulsions
  • Chills
  • Nausea, vomiting and dehydration, weight loss
  • Numbness of extremities, dry skin
  • Blurred vision, nystagmus, dilated pupils
  • Dissociation from pain – can have severe injuries

Risk factors for Opioid Dependence:

The effects of PCP use may persist for up to twelve months after quitting. There is also a high risk of developing schizophrenia in users who experience PCP-induced psychosis. People have died after just one use of PCP because they feel invincible. PCP can also cause people to go in a coma. Without professional treatment and support, an ongoing PCP user could well end up insane or dead.

People who use excessive amounts of PCP over a prolonged period of time are at increased risk of becoming dependent on this drug. PCP dependence can cause impairment in functioning at home, work, school, or social settings, and it can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on interpersonal relationships.

When mixed with other drugs such as alcohol or nerve sedating meds, the risks of severe physical and mental reactions are much higher.

Treatment for Opioid Dependence:

People with PCP dependence can receive treatment in inpatient or outpatient healthcare settings depending on the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and other factors such as medical needs, additional psychiatric conditions, and the amount of social support available. A professional intervention is usually required to get a loved one into an in-house treatment program.

  • Care during withdrawal – Management of PCP withdrawal mostly consists of supporting the patient by regulating breathing, controlling circulation, and optimizing body temperature. In the early stages, treating psychiatric symptoms is necessary too.
  • Medications – Benzodiazepines are the first-line medicines used to manage agitation and seizures (when present). Antipsychotics have been used to treat psychotic symptoms, but they are associated with adverse effects and so should be used sparingly and with caution and under the supervision of a psychiatrist.
  • Aftercare – Once the withdrawal process is complete, addiction treatment therapy and aftercare such as a sober living house or a daily 12-step support group will start. These provide people who are in recovery with the skills and support they will need to prevent relapse.

Symptoms of Opioid Dependency

Mental, behavioral, and psychological effects of PCP include:

  • Psychotic symptoms – hallucinations, delusional beliefs, paranoia, feelings of omnipotence or of having “superpowers,” communication with “the gods,” and a sense of not being in touch with reality or “losing one’s mind.” Their words make no sense.
  • Mood disturbances – anxiety, euphoria, irritability, agitation, aggression, suicidal thoughts, apathy, depression, rage
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Difficulties with speech
  • Suicidal behavior

Physical effects of PCP include:

  • Increased strength
  • Tachycardia – a fast heart rate, shallow and rapid breathing, sweating
  • Raised blood pressure, dizziness
  • Muscle cramps and twitching, writhing, uncoordinated body movements, seizures, convulsions
  • Chills
  • Nausea, vomiting and dehydration, weight loss
  • Numbness of extremities, dry skin
  • Blurred vision, nystagmus, dilated pupils
  • Dissociation from pain – can have severe injuries

Risk factors for Opioid Dependence

The effects of PCP use may persist for up to twelve months after quitting. There is also a high risk of developing schizophrenia in users who experience PCP-induced psychosis. People have died after just one use of PCP because they feel invincible. PCP can also cause people to go in a coma. Without professional treatment and support, an ongoing PCP user could well end up insane or dead.

People who use excessive amounts of PCP over a prolonged period of time are at increased risk of becoming dependent on this drug. PCP dependence can cause impairment in functioning at home, work, school, or social settings, and it can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on interpersonal relationships.

When mixed with other drugs such as alcohol or nerve sedating meds, the risks of severe physical and mental reactions are much higher.

Treatment for Opioid Dependence:

People with PCP dependence can receive treatment in inpatient or outpatient healthcare settings depending on the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and other factors such as medical needs, additional psychiatric conditions, and the amount of social support available. A professional intervention is usually required to get a loved one into an in-house treatment program.

  • Care during withdrawal – Management of PCP withdrawal mostly consists of supporting the patient by regulating breathing, controlling circulation, and optimizing body temperature. In the early stages, treating psychiatric symptoms is necessary too.
  • Medications – Benzodiazepines are the first-line medicines used to manage agitation and seizures (when present). Antipsychotics have been used to treat psychotic symptoms, but they are associated with adverse effects and so should be used sparingly and with caution and under the supervision of a psychiatrist.
  • Aftercare – Once the withdrawal process is complete, addiction treatment therapy and aftercare such as a sober living house or a daily 12-step support group will start. These provide people who are in recovery with the skills and support they will need to prevent relapse.
Sources DRUGS.com – Phencyclidine | DRUGABUSE.com – PCP | ALCOHOLREHAB – Phencyclidine Dependence