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Originally developed in the s as a surgical anesthetic, the drug was soon discontinued after it was found to cause agitation and mania, hallucinations, and irrational thinking in patients following its use. The psychiatric effects vary widely, but it is considered dangerous, and its use has been linked to violent and aggressive actions, psychosisand a risk of accidental death.
An overdose can be life-threatening. PCP appeared on the market in the s as an anesthetic and tranquilizer known as Sernyl. It was discontinued in and limited to veterinary use only. It is now a Schedule II controlled substance in the U. A person may be imprisoned for making, distributing, possessing, and using it.
It is made illegally in secret laboratories, along with dozens of analogs drugs that are chemically similar available on the street. It is thought to be made primarily in the United States U. PCP is a white crystalline, bitter-tasting powder that quickly dissolves in water or alcohol. It is also found in tablet or capsule form. Users may smoke, snort, swallow, or inject PCP. Leafy plants such as mintparsley or marijuana are often sprayed with the chemical, or a rolled t is dipped into a PCP solution and then smoked.
PCP affects multiple neurotransmitter systems in the brain. It inhibits the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. It also inhibits the action of glutamate by blocking NMDA receptors, which are responsible for pain sensation, emotions, learning, and memory functions. A typical dose is 5 to 10 milligrams, and 10 mg has been reported to cause stupor. The effects are felt 30 Symptoms of pcp drug 60 minutes after oral ingestion, or a few minutes after smoking.
Immediate effects last 4 to 6 hours, but a return to a normal state can take up to 24 hours. However, because the drug is made illegally in uncontrolled conditions, there is no way of knowing how much is being taken, or what the effect will be. An individual may use PCP because it produces euphoria, psychedelic effects, and a sense of calm. However, they may experience effects that they do not want. Soon after taking a low dose, there may be a rise in blood pressurebody temperature, and heart rate.
PCP can cause a person to experience :. Other people may notice that the user is showing :. Poor judgment and reasoning skills, psychosis, paranoia, and self-injurious or violent action may occur in those already prone to these behaviors. The person may develop a type of psychosis similar to that seen in schizophrenia. A sense of super strength and invulnerability, combined with the inability to feel pain and poor judgment, can lead to serious injury.
Ingesting PCP with other central nervous system CNS depressants, such as alcohol or prescription tranquilizers, can lead to coma. Severe PCP poisoning can also occur if an individual, when attempting to conceal the drug from authorities, mistakenly ingests large amounts due to body stuffing or packing. The effects can be hard to predict, because production and sale are illegal and therefore not controlled. Long-term effects include :. These can last for up to a year.
Some people may experience flashbacks and hallucinations for a long time after using PCP. This is known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder HPPD. Addiction can also develop, as a person builds up a tolerance to the drug. Addiction and related mental health problems make it hard to function socially, financially, and professionally.
This can lead to further complications. Discontinuing PCP suddenly can produce withdrawal symptoms. Anyone seeking recovery from PCP use will need medical supervision and possibly hospitalization. While distressing, withdrawal from PCP is not life threatening.
Recovery takes time, however, as the person will need support as they learn the skills necessary for a drug-free life. Those with persistent behavioral problems or distressing psychological effects may need psychiatric evaluation and treatment for mental health problems. The behavior of a person using PCP can be dangerous to themselves and to Symptoms of pcp drug. It is important for the person to seek help, or for their loved ones to intervene, if possible.
It may be worth asking a professionally trained person to approach the loved one, as it can be difficult for families to intervene. The extent of use of PCP appears to be falling. In13 Symptoms of pcp drug of high school students said they had tried PCP. Bythat figure had fallen to 3 percent.
Despite this fall in its use, PCP is still a matter of concern to health authorities and drug agencies. Anyone who is concerned about substance use should speak to their primary care physician. A doctor can assist if any medical treatment is necessary, and they can also refer a person to available local services or support groups.
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