PHENCYCLIDINE

An Exceedingly Unpredictable Drug.

What Is Phencyclidine?

Description

Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a dissociative anesthetic that was developed in the 1950s for use in surgical procedures. Its sedative and anesthetic effects are trance-like. Its use in humans was disallowed in the United States in 1965 due to the high rates of side effects while its use in other animals was disallowed in 1978.

Analytes

Phencyclidine

Street Names / Slang Terms

Angel Dust, Embalming Fluid, Killer Weed, Rocket Fuel, Supergrass

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What Does PCP Look Like?

PCP is a bitter-tasting, white crystalline powder that is easy to dissolve in water or alcohol. It may be dyed various colors and often is sold as a tablet, capsule, liquid, or powder.

Because it can be cut into other drugs, formed into tablets or liquified there may be no telltale method for recreational users to identify it reliably or avoid unexpected effects or outcomes that come with ingesting it unknowingly.

How is PCP used?

PCP powder is often intranasally absorbed (snorting) or swallowed as tablets or capsules.

In its liquified form some users will inject it or apply it to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes.

Because it is soluble in water or alcohol illicit drug manufacturers sometimes mix into other drugs.

The powder is often mixed into leafy substances like marijuana, oregano, or mint and smoked for more immediate effect and to mask the bitter taste.

Fast Facts About Phencyclidine

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Usage Waxes & Wanes

PCP fell off its peaks in the 1960-70’s until a resurgence between 2005-2011. Today’s SAMHSA figures show PCP use to be infrequent—1-2% of those surveyed report intentional usage. But with some estimates of 24% of street marijuana—the most commonly used illicit drug—tainted with PCP, unwitting exposure is likely much higher.
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Unwitting Exposure.

Because it is easily dissolved in liquid PCP can be added to other drugs such as LSD or methamphetamine by illicit drug manufacturers. It is sometimes added to marijuana. Users are then exposed to its effects and addictive potential without their knowledge, leading to effects for which they are not prepared and do not expect.
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Catchy Names For A Very Bad Drug.

As with most illicitly used drugs, PCP is given street names. Street names are often indicative of a drug’s effects, and these are no different:  Angel Dust, Hog, Ozone, Rocket Fuel, Zoom, Wack, Crystal and Embalming Fluid. Street names for PCP combined with marijuana include Killer Joints, Super Grass, Fry, Lovelies, Wets, and Waters.

Why Choose Psychemedics To Detect PCP?

Unrivaled Detection. Nobody Is Better.

A Psychemedics drug test using hair analysis is unrivaled in its ability to detect drugs of abuse. In fact, our detection rate is 2-3X that of other hair tests and 6-10X those of urine. And with a 90-day window of detection, the chances for a habitual user to evade a positive result are virtually eliminated.  The most recognized brands on the Fortune 500 rely on our tests to build safer workplaces. Why?

Unrivaled Detection.  Unmatched Deterrence.  Unequaled Legal Record.

If an employee or student is inadvertently ingesting PCP that has been cut into another drug or laced into a marijuana cigarette, they should know. The consequences can be unexpected and the outcomes can be extreme both for them and those around them.

Psychemedics has detected more drug users for more companies than any hair testing lab in the world and our results have been accepted by courts across the country. Contributing to our unequaled legal track record, it is the only hair test with safeguards validated by the FBI to protect those tested from false positive results by differentiating between ingestion versus external exposure to a drug. Our clients confidently make policy decisions knowing that we go the extra mile to ensure fairness to those tested.

Our non-invasive testing procedure uses a sample of hair that is up to 60% less than that required by any hair testing lab which is easily collected and shipped to our College of American Pathologists (CAP) and ISO-IEC 17025:2005 certified laboratory. Turnaround on most results is the best in the industry.

More Information About Phencyclidine.

Short Term Effects

Recreational doses of the drug occasionally appear to induce a psychotic state that resembles schizophrenia. Users report feeling detached from reality.  Low doses produce a numbness in the fingers, hands and feet.  Other effects can include shallow breathing, flushing, profuse sweating, and poor muscular coordination. Loss of balance or staggering is common. Moderate doses will produce analgesia and anesthesia.

At high doses, PCP can cause hallucinations as well as seizures, coma, and death. Other effects that can occur at high doses are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. High doses can also cause effects similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, paranoia, disordered thinking, and catatonia. Speech is often sparse and garbled. A hallmark of the drug’s effect is loss of one’s sense of self or a complete self-centeredness as with psychedelic drugs such as LSD.

Use of PCP among adolescents may interfere with hormones related to normal growth and development as well as with the learning process.

PCP can alter mood states in an unexpected or unpredictable fashion, as can other mood-altering drugs. It may induce feelings of invulnerability, leading to many stories of users becoming violent and seeming to possess superhuman strength. Researchers find these to be extremely rare occurrences.

Some individuals can become detached and appear paranoid while others exhibit euphoria and may become agitated and very animated. It is a drug with unpredictable effects.

Long Term Effects

PCP is addicting; that is, its use often leads to psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior. People who use PCP for long periods report memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. These symptoms can persist up to a year after halting usage. Mood disorders also have been reported.

Stay Current On Drugs Of Abuse

We have put together an information sheet on Phencyclidine to help you understand the threats and recognize the symptoms of abuse. You can download the document for your reference or to share with others who may benefit from the information we have shared.

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