PCP Addiction

PCP Addiction Treatment

Heavy PCP use may be back on the rise. While it’s been decades since this hallucinogenic drug was popular, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that in 2013, there were around 1.3 million Americans ages 13 and above who used hallucinogens. According to a report by the DEA in 2013, PCP was predominately used by high school students and young adults. A study done the following year, the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study of 2014, reported that PCP seemed to be the drug abused most frequently by young adults. The National Drug Intelligence Center estimates that over 6 million people ages 12 and over have tried PCP at least once in their life.

What is PCP?

Phencyclidines, commonly known as PCP, is a type of synthetic dissociative drug that produces an “out of body” experience or feelings of detachment from one’s environment. This illicit drug can also cause sight and sound distortion, a sense of strength and invulnerability, and euphoria.

PCP was created in the 1950s by Parke Davis Laboratories to be used as an intravenous surgical anesthetic. It was discontinued in 1965 because patients were experiencing post-operative psychosis, severe anxiety, and dysphoria (feelings of unease or general dissatisfaction). The drug was still being used by veterinarians as an effective animal tranquilizer until ketamine came along.

PCP became popular in the street scene in the 60s due to its mind-altering effects. It became illegal in 1978, classified as a Schedule II substance.

The street names of PCP include:

  • angel dust
  • amoeba
  • amp
  • animal trank
  • peace pills
  • rocket fuel
  • embalming fluid
  • belladonna
  • black dust
  • Goon dust

Marijuana or tobacco cigarettes laced with PCP:

  • fry
  • crystal supergrass
  • killer joint / killer weed
  • dips
  • love boats
  • wets
  • waters
  • sherm stick

How is PCP used?

PCP, in its purest form, is a white crystalline powder. It can easily dissolve in water and alcohol. It has a bitter chemical taste that’s quite distinct. Because it is illegally made, PCP often has various contaminants that affect its color and texture. It is sold as tablets and capsules. It also comes in colored powder form and liquid form. PCP can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, and injected.

The effects of PCP use can typically take effect rather quickly, depending on the method of intake. Injecting PCP can cause a person to feel the effects within 2 to 5 minutes after. Smoking PCP can produce the same effects within the same amount of time. The effects usually last for 30 minutes. When swallowed, users will typically start to feel the effects at the 30-minute mark, but it will peak at around 2 to 5 hours.

Achieve Sobriety at Our Southern California Recovery Center

Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of treatments available that have helped people stop abusing drugs and start living productive lives again. Fill out the form below for a free confidential call back.

Dangers of PCP

The effects of PCP can vary for each individual. This drug can elicit unpredictable behaviors. One person taking PCP may become aggressive while another may become overly anxious or empathetic.

The severity of the effects of PCP will depend on the method of ingestion, the amount taken, and whether alcohol and/or other drugs were taken as well. Some users can experience difficulty moving, even to the point of inducing a coma. It is for this reason that this drug is used to facilitate sexual abuse. Victims under the influence of PCP may not be able to move and fend off a rapist. They might not even be aware of what is being done to them.

Long-term use of PCP can increase the risk of physical harm and mental illness. PCP has analgesic properties which can cause the user to feel numb to pain from injuries. Long-term effects also include suicidal thoughts due to mood problems, mania, hallucination flashbacks, and social isolation. Memory loss, thinking problems, weight loss, and slurred speech can also occur after long-time use of PCP. A large dose of PCP ingested orally can cause kidney damage, seizures, arrhythmias, coma, and even death. The most common symptoms of PCP use include:

  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • euphoria
  • numbness
  • increased heart rate
  • memory loss
  • paranoia
  • muscle cramps
  • invulnerability
  • vomiting
  • loss of coordination
  • seizures
  • chills
  • increased blood pressure

Is PCP addictive?

Yes. Repeated use of PCP can cause a person to develop psychological dependence on the drug. It can also lead them to crave it and compulsively seek the drug despite knowing the risks to taking it. According to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a person is considered addicted to PCP if he/she exhibits the following within a 12-month period:

  • inability to cut back or control use
  • taking more PCP than intended
  • building tolerance
  • experiencing cravings
  • failing to carry out normal role expectations at home, school, or work
  • dropping out of activities
  • taking PCP despite physical or psychological problems
  • using PCP in situations which are dangerous to self or others
  • spending most of his/her time getting, using, or recovering from PCP

How is PCP addiction treated?

Treatment for PCP addiction starts with detoxification – getting the toxins out of the body. It’s recommended that people undergo detox under medical supervision to help them manage the withdrawal symptoms. These include chills, diarrhea, headaches, sweating, tremors, craving, confusion, and depression. Those who have been using PCP for a long time may also experience flashbacks, memory loss, difficulties in thinking and speaking, weight loss, and mood disorders. An inpatient treatment program can provide medication that can ease cravings and side effects of PCP.

After detox, treatment for PCP addiction will include cognitive-behavioral therapy. This can help patients discover the root cause of the addiction and understand their triggers. Talk therapy can also help patients learn coping methods that can enable them to avoid relapsing.

Find Your Path to Healing

Call our caring admissions team day or night.

Signs and Symptoms of Spice Addiction

Similar to many mind-altering drugs, Spice can be addictive. And because there’s no information on what the “safe” dosage is, the period between first use and addiction is shorter. Once people start taking Spice, their body starts to develop tolerance and dependence. When that happens, the effects become reduced even if they use the same dosage. This leads to higher doses and more frequent use.

People who have become addicted to Spice may experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop using. These include headaches, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Other signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Pale skin
  • Shaking and seizures
  • Profuse sweating
  • Impaired control
  • Red eyes
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Problems in fulfilling obligations
  • Engaging in risky activities
  • Giving up on important activities
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia

How is Spice addiction treated?

Similar to other drug addictions, treatment for Spice or K2 addiction starts with detoxification. It takes around a week (at least) for a Spice user to remove the toxins from his body. However, the cravings for the drug will take time. Coupled with the withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that users undergo detoxification through an inpatient rehab program. Medical personnel will be able to monitor the patient and ensure that there are no complications. The team will also be able to help curb the cravings and relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Once detoxification is done, the patient will need to undergo behavioral therapy and counseling. It is important that a user understands the root cause of his addiction, his triggers, and how to cope better. The treatment plan may require the patient to undergo lifestyle changes, develop healthier habits, and form strong relationships to create a support system. Take note that each treatment plan will be unique, specifically designed to cater to the needs of the patient.

What We Treat

Spice Addiction

Spice, K2 and Black Mamba, is a mixture of dried herbs and shredded plant materials that have been sprayed with laboratory-made chemicals mimicking effects of marijuana.

Ecstasy Addiction

The chemical name for ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). This recreational amphetamine drug can be taken in two ways - swallowed or snorted.

Crystal Meth Addiction

Meth is a psychostimulant that can have a huge impact on the human central nervous system and is highly addictive- its use for even a few weeks can lead to dependency.

Inhalants Addiction

Inhalants are household and industrial chemicals that produce volatile vapors which can be inhaled via the nose or mouth to give the user a short-lived high.

PCP Addiction

PCP is a type of synthetic dissociative drug that produces an "out of body" experience or feelings of detachment from one's environment.

Cocaine Addiction

For most cocaine users, it translates into ‘euphoria’ and that is what one feels with the first hit, depending on the purity of the batch.

Benzos Addiction

Benzodiazepines act as sedatives by slowing down the body's overall functioning.

LSD Addiction

Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD for short, is a synthetic substance made using lysergic acid found in ergot, a fungus that infects rye.

Opioid Addiction

Opioids, sometimes also referred to as narcotics, are drugs present within the opium poppy plant.

We Accept Most Major Insurance

Our intake team can verify your health insurance benefits when you call or fill out the form on our website.


Learn About Our Admissions Process


View What Addictions We Treat


Review our Treatment Programs


Contact Us Today to Get Started

Start Your Recovery Today

Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of treatments available that have helped people stop abusing drugs and start living productive lives again.