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PCP (Phencyclidine)

Angel dust has a reputation for causing psychotic episodes, but what are the true facts behind PCP?

PCP, or phenylcyclohexylpiperidine, is a stimulant with strong hallucinogenic properties.  It's sold as a white crystalline powder which can be prepared for injection, sniffing, smoking or swallowing. A liquid form, commonly called embalming fluid, can also be found.

What are the effects of PCP?

  • Feelings of dreaminess and mild hallucinations
  • Users also experience distortions in their perception of time and space.

What are the risks of taking PCP?

  • Even in low doses, PCP can lead to severe psychological trauma
  • Users may feel agitated and paranoid, leading to outbursts of violent behaviour including self-mutilation
  • Large doses can cause respiratory arrest or kidney failure
  • Excessive doses can lead to convulsions and even death
  • It can be difficult to administer safe doses of a drug whose strength wildly fluctuates
  • PCP is frequently laced with other illicit substances (such as marijuana) and the buyer not made aware of its presence.

The law and PCP:

Phencyclidine is a Class A drug, meaning possession can carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Other terms for PCP:

Angel dust, ozone, embalming fluid, wack, rocketfuel, elephant tranquiliser, dust, kools, and sherms.

If you are planning on taking PCP:

If you do decide to take PCP, make sure you are in a safe environment with people you know. People have been known to drown in pools, jump to their deaths, commit horrific acts of self-mutilation and even murder whilst high on PCP. It is notorious for causing "bad trips" so keep close to your mates.

Whilst liquid PCP is sometimes known as embalming fluid, it is important not to confuse this with actual embalming fluid, as the chemicals used to preserve dead bodies, such as formaldehyde, are even more toxic than PCP.

Updated: 13/04/2010

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