PCP, short for phencyclidine, is a type of dissociative anesthetic drug. It was originally created as an intravenous anesthetic for use by medical professionals, but was quickly put out of use due to its side effects. Those side effects make PCP one of the most dangerous drugs out there, not just for the person using the drug, but those around them.

PCP is found in powder, pill or liquid form. Not matter its form, PCP alters a person’s perception, and make them have out-of-body experiences. The side effects can range however, depending on much PCP a person takes.

At low to moderate doses, PCP side effects can be:

  • Sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Trance-like state
  • Dissociation from environment
  • Aggression
  • Amnesia
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation/Violence
  • Dilated pupils
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Numbness
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

The effect of using high doses of PCP include:

  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme panic
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Exaggerated strength
  • Aggression
  • No reaction to pain
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

PCP can make a person feel invincible as it deadens the sensation of pain. The aggressive behavior, combined with exaggerated strength can be quite dangerous to anyone who has to interact with a person on PCP. It’s also dangerous for the user too, as they cannot feel pain and may injure themselves without realizing. Another side effect of PCP is death due to a person fatally injuring themselves on accident, or their paranoia or hallucinations driving them to suicide.

Another side effect of PCP is violent muscle contractions that can fracture a person’s bones, and cause muscle breakdown around the kidneys.

PCP is can also be deadly if mixed with other drugs, such as alcohol. It can cause a person to go through respiratory distress and stop breathing, which can lead to a coma or death.

PCP Abuse and PCP Addiction

Not only is PCP dangerous just on its own, it’s highly addictive too. Like many drugs, it targets the reward center of the brain, flooding it with dopamine and causing people to experience a euphoric high. Due to the nature of the reward system of our brain, it’s hardwired to repeat pleasurable behaviors which can start someone down the road to PCP abuse and PCP addiction.

PCP addiction symptoms are usually categorized by a compulsive need to seek out the drug, often at the expense of everything else in a person’s life. PCP addiction is a disease, and can be debilitating or fatal if left untreated.

PCP addiction can result in long-term health effects, which include:

  • Speech problems
  • Memory loss
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Psychosis

PCP can also stay in the body long after a person stops using it too. This can cause them to have flashbacks or hallucinations over the years.

Due to how dangerous an addiction to PCP can be, not just for their own short-term and long-term health but for the safety of others, a person should seek PCP treatment as soon as possible.

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PCP Treatment Options

If someone is seeking PCP addiction treatment or PCP overdose treatment, they’ll need professional medical care. If someone needs PCP overdose treatment, they’ll usually need to be sedated and kept in a dark room to reduce stimuli and be monitored for respiratory issues.

If a person only needs PCP addiction treatment, PCP rehab centers are one of the best places to go. At PCP rehab centers, a person can undergo medical detox during which they stop using PCP and go through the process of removing it from their system. It is especially important that a person is medically supervised during the detox process, as the withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to dangerous. These include:

  • Weight loss
  • Speech problems
  • Low energy
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Once a person gets through detox, the next step in PCP drug treatment is therapy. Once a person becomes addicted to PCP, this means their body needs the drug to function. Learning how to live without PCP can be a challenge physically but also emotionally, which is why therapy is so crucial for PCP treatment. It can give a person the skills they need to learn how to live without PCP, fight cravings and triggers, and understand why they may have started using PCP in the first place. A person should also be treated for any co-occurring illnesses too, such as depression, so their recovery process isn’t hindered by the co-occurring issue.

Once they finish PCP treatment, a person should seek out continuous supportive care as they start the road to recovery. A 12-step program or group can provide support while a person learns how to live drug-free again.

If you or a loved one are struggling with PCP addiction, help is out there. Sovereign Health provides cutting-edge treatment with personalized treatment plans that are based on our patients’ needs. For more information about our treatment programs, contact our 24/7 helpline today.

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