PCP, short for phencyclidine, is a type of dissociative anesthetic drug that medical professionals developed in the 1950s for use as an intravenous anesthetic, but soon rejected it too, due to its side effects. Found in various forms, including powder, pill or liquid, PCP alters a person’s perception and makes them have out-of-body experiences. The side effects can vary depending on the quantity consumed. Users can experience a range of physical and psychological effects, many of which are dose-dependent; with dangerous effects associated with higher doses.
Following are some of the side effects of PCP (low to moderate doses):
- Trance-like state
- Dissociation from environment
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- Involuntary muscle movements
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Following are some of the side effects of PCP (high doses):
- Memory loss
- Extreme panic
- Exaggerated strength
- No reaction to pain
- Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature increasing to dangerous levels
Overdosing on the drug can also result in accidental death due to the psychological effects caused by it. The user can even feel invincible as it deadens the sensation of pain. The aggressive behavior, combined with an increased strength, can even be quite dangerous to those around such a person. In addition, abusing the drug can even lead to death due to a person fatally injuring himself/herself in an accident, or paranoia or hallucinations driving the user to commit suicide. Even violent muscle contractions are a common side effect and can fracture the user’s bones and cause muscle breakdown around the kidneys.
When mixed with other addictive substances, such as alcohol, the drug can cause respiratory distress and lead to coma or death. These side effects make PCP one of the most dangerous drugs, not just for the people abusing the drug, but for those around them as well.