Phencyclidine (PCP) 101

January 5, 2012
If you've ever been to a rave, you may have been offered PCP - but you may not have known what it is... You may know PCP, or phencyclidine, by one of its many street names, like angel dust, wet, illy, rocket fuel, or super grass. PCP was originally invented in the 1930s to be used as a surgical anesthetic. However, the drug caused vivid hallucinations and had violence-inducing side effects, so it was no longer considered safe in the medical community. Nonetheless, PCP is still used recreationally for its hallucinogenic, numbing, and out-of-body effects. In its purest form, PCP is a crystallized white powder. But on the drug market, it can also show up as colored powder or pills. While the drug is occasionally consumed orally or snorted through the nose, it is more commonly smoked. This is done by adding PCP powder to a leafy material, like cloves, tobacco, or marijuana. A cigarette or joint can also be dipped into liquid PCP, a practice known as "smoking wet."In whatever manner the PCP is taken, the drug quickly creates feelings of detachment and distance from one's surroundings. In large doses, PCP can cause , image distortion, and severe, often violent, mood changes, and feelings of superhuman strength. Users may become anxious and worry about impending doom, or they may experience episodes indistinguishable from paranoid schizophrenia. These mental changes, as well as the physical effects-like difficulty walking, slurred speech, and numbness-will usually last about two hours. PCP is highly addictive. It's also known to cause suicidal tendencies, violent rages and to induce potentially deadly comas. In fact, many drug experts consider PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs in existence, and caution strongly against ever trying it.
Last Updated:
July 16, 2012