Once marketed as an anesthetic in the United States under the trade names Sernyl and Sernylan, Phencyclidine (PCP) is no longer produced or used for medical purposes in the United States.

PCP is now considered a “club drug” and is highly used by young adults involved in rave culture.  Street names include Angel Dust, Hog, Ozone, Rocket Fuel, Shermans, Wack, Crystal and Embalming Fluid.  Street names for PCP combined with marijuana include Killer Joints, Super Grass, Fry, Lovelies, Wets, and Waters. PCP is abused for its mind altering effects.  It is abused in one of three ways: snorted, smoked or swallowed. 

What are the effects of PCP?

The effects of PCP can be very unpredictable. Central Nervous System effects can include euphoria, loss of inhibitions, anxiety, disorientation, restlessness, drowsiness, or disorganized thinking. There can also be distorted time, space, and body sensations, feelings of weightlessness, paranoia, and the feeling of being disassociated with the environment. The user can experience audio and visual hallucinations. In the body, PCP raises the heart rate and blood pressure. It can also cause excess salivation, sweating, numbness, staggering, slurred speech, fever, and muscle rigidity.

Is PCP addictive?

PCP is addicting; that is, its repeated use often leads to psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior.

What are the risks of PCP?

At high doses, PCP can cause hallucinations as well as seizures, coma, and death (though death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication). Other effects that can occur at high doses are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. High doses can also cause effects similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, paranoia, disordered thinking, a sensation of distance from one’s environment, and catatonia. Speech is often sparse and garbled.

People who use PCP for long periods report memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. These symptoms can persist up to a year after cessation of PCP use. Mood disorders also have been reported.

If you or someone you know thinks that they may have a problem with PCP click here for more information.