Recreational doses of PCP 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.
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.