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What are the Dangers of PCP?

PCP can cause numerous negative side effects, including high blood pressure, paranoia and combativeness.

Phencyclidine, more commonly known as PCP, is a dissociative anesthetic. It was used for general anesthesia in humans, briefly, in the 1960’s and 1970’s. However, due to complications in its use it has since been classed as a controlled substance with no known human uses. Today, it is primarily used as a horse tranquilizer. There are a number of things you need to know in order to understand what the dangers of PCP are.

Side Effects of PCP

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheet, PCP has a number of side effects that can be divided into two categories. These are physical and psychological.

  • Physical side effects include:

o increased blood pressure and heart rate,

o speech problems,

o blurred vision,

o loss of sensation and partial anesthesia,

o impaired motor control, and

o profuse sweating.

  • Psychological side effects include:

o distorted sensory perceptions,

o paranoia,

o grand delusions,

o lack of body awareness,

o impaired focus and concentration,

o disorientation, and

o violent agitation and combativeness.

The degree and length of these effects is directly dependent on the size of the PCP dose, the method by which it was taken, and the surroundings of the user.

What PCP Makes You do

PCP side effects

Disorientation is a side effect of PCP.

The manner in which PCP is used plays a large role in what it makes you do, as well. However, there are a number of common things that PCP users do, including:

  • hallucinate sounds and sights,
  • become extremely paranoid,
  • lose all perception of pain and limitations, and
  • become agitated and irritable.

All of these things combine into a perfect storm that far too often results in death for the user or someone around them.

Deaths Due to PCP

Statistics on deaths from PCP are a little sketchy. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, there are very few overdoses on PCP. However, there are a large number of deaths directly related to the psychological and physical side effects. These deaths include:

  • users jumping from high places, because they believe that they can fly,
  • self-mutilation resulting in death, usually because users hallucinate something under their skin, or get caught up in the fact that they feel no pain,
  • fatal traffic accidents caused bt people operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of PCP,
  • accidental drowning from users not realizing they are in water, or believing they can breathe underwater,
  • suicide to escape hallucinations or end the inability to feel, and
  • homicide of those around them when the violent delusions and paranoia kick in.

Who is at Risk?

According to the United States Department of Justice, a large of percentage of people who use PCP do so unknowingly. This is because PCP is often sold as another drug, because it is more potent and cheaper than the drug it is being sold as. PCP is also often laced into things like MDMA and marijuana to increase their potency and increase the chances of addiction, thus ensuring future revenue for the drug dealer. These facts, combined with the effects of PCP use, make it one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets today.

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