PCP, technically named phencyclidine and often called angel dust on the street, is a drug that is frequently abused in the USA. The consequences of this type of substance abuse can be devastating, for the user and for anyone who comes into contact with the user if they are high. PCP alters the perception of the user and may make them feel detached from their environment, emotions, and physical sensations. The drug is usually produced as a powder, but this can be dissolved in water so that the solution can be injected. It can be found in various colors, depending on the other substances that may be included in the powder. Some users may take the liquid form of PCP and dip tobacco or marijuana in the fluid. The dried product is then smoked.
PCP use can cause both temporary and permanent side effects and damage to the user. These can be both physical and psychological. The risks and side effects of using PCP include but are not limited to:
- Breathing that is shallow
- Diminished or eliminated pain sensations
- Extraordinary strength
- Excessive sweating
- Vision that is blurry
- Changes in mood
- Behavior that is unpredictable and which often turns violent
- Speech that is slurred
If chronic PCP use over time continues then permanent changes and damage may occur. The user may become addicted, they can have short and long term memory loss, and they may become severely depressed. Flashbacks are a big problem with long term use, and certain mood disorders are more likely to occur.