Angel Dust

PCP: 6 Proven Facts About “Angel Dust” You Must Know

What is PCP/Angel Dust?


Phencyclidine, or more commonly known as PCP or Angel Dust in “street” terms, is a mind altering hallucinogenic that can distort the user’s reality and environment. The appearance of the substance varies from its original off-white form to powder, pills, and capsules. In the 1950’s, PCP was created and marketed as an anesthetic for surgical procedures by ParkeDavis & Company, however, it was discontinued due to negative side effects such as patients being delusional, having anxiety, and being irrational. Angel Dust( one of the many names associated with PCP) continued to be used in veterinary practices until 1978, when it was made illegal in the United States. It is currently classified as a Schedule II drug and is known among users to have a high abuse rate as well as users having a tendency to become physically and psychologically dependent. 


What are the consequences for getting caught with PCP or “Angle Dust”? 


The consequences of being found in possession of this illegal drug can be very serious, especially if caught with an amount that can lead to prosecution in federal court. If caught and convicted with an amount in excess of 100 grams or more, an individual can receive a sentence of 5 years to life in prison, depending on the nature of the offense. Fines can be imposed anywhere from $5,000-$500,000 depending on the severity of the crime.


What are the side effects of “ Angel Dust” on your body & mind?


Using the drug can have traumatic side effects on the body and mind of the user. PCP binds to different sites of the brain(central nervous system) including the limbic and cortex structures. It can interact with the brain by sending signals to produce dopamine and serotonin reuptake. It can also cause the user to feel relaxed, a sense of euphoria, and carefree which is why many people have an addiction towards drug. It belongs under the classification of drugs called hallucinogens, which make the user feel like he or she is hearing, feeling, or seeing things that are not really there when abused in high doses. In another sense, it can play tricks on the mind. Users can feel a sense of separation from their body and physical surroundings. Sustained use of PCP can result in the user going into a coma (from overdose), serious injury or bodily harm, and even death.


Side effects from moderate PCP use may include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure   


Side effects from heavy PCP usage may include:


  • Hallucinations
  • Short-term & Long-term Memory Loss
  • Extreme Aggression
  • Heavy anxiety
  • Feelings of having “superman” powers
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicide
  • Violence


What are the harmful effects and withdrawal symptoms of  using PCP?


Medical intervention can help with the side effects from withdrawal symptoms which can be moderate to severe depending on how much and for how long the drug was used. A detox facility or hospital is the best option for an individual to receive medical help in these instances.  Short term symptoms can occur just 8 hours after the last dose and may include but are not limited to:


  • Seizures
  • Bowel movements
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Aggression
  • Restlessness
  • High body temperature


It is important for the individual to continue to check in with a medical professional even after detoxing and staying abstinent from PCP. Long term withdrawal symptoms have been found to last from a couple of months and upwards to a year.  These symptoms usually depend on how long the drug was used for and at what rate. These long term symptoms can include but aren’t limited to:


  • permanent psychosis
  • cognitive issues
  • depression
  • memory loss
  • social anxiety
  • weight loss


How do I find the right treatment for PCP/ Angel Dust abuse?


The first step in finding treatment for PCP / Angel Dust, and as is with any addiction, is admitting help is needed. Treatment for PCP/Angel Dust should first begin with the individual being admitted and evaluated in a safe and supervised medical facility. This usually starts with a hospital or detox center to ensure that the patient comes off of the substance in a safe environment. It is also important so the medical professional can make sure the patient doesn’t have any arising health or mental issues from the drug usage. After the detox is completed, which usually takes anywhere from 3-12 days to rid the body from the toxins, further rehabilitation is necessary to prevent relapse.


An inpatient drug addiction treatment center, such as Oasis Recovery which is a great starting point to receive the help needed to recover from drug abuse and eliminate the chance to use while recovering. Treatment centers such as this usually consist of multiple types of therapy such as individual and group settings. They can also involve one on one counseling, outdoor activities, and family and friend support groups. Treatment centers usually offer both inpatient and outpatient services to those in need.


Inpatient Treatment

This part of the process usually comes first and can last anywhere from 30 days and in some cases upwards of a year, depending on the individual needs of the person. Inpatient treatment consists of the patient living at the facility and involves different types of therapy, counseling and around the clock medical support. The main goal of this treatment option is to ensure the individual has the best chance of getting “well” (a term preferred by most patients instead of “better”) without introducing the many distractions life has to offer. Clinicians at these facilities help with reducing the drug cravings and thought processes that more often than not, lead to relapse.


Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is a type of treatment where the patient still attends a treatment center, but does not stay overnight and spends less time at the facility . It is generally recommended for someone who has a mild to moderate addiction problem. These types of treatment options generally last anywhere from 10 days up to six months. It still consists of  therapy, counseling, and even in some cases outpatient detox settings, but can be a more affordable, less time consuming option for a patient who may be able to recover from a less severe addiction. In most cases, some form of IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is recommended and introduced after Inpatient treatment is finished.  


If you or a loved one is interested in holistic therapy, and think it could be right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today and we can discuss how best to help you.


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