Phencyclidine (PCP) was synthesized in 1926 and patented by the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company in 1952. Marketed under the name Sernyl®, it was first marketed in the 1950s as preoperative anesthetic, but was eventually removed from the market after reports of patients experiencing hallucinations and delirium. In the late 1960s PCP began its emergence into American culture as a recreational drug. PCP can be used in a tablet, capsule, liquid or powdered form, but is typically sprayed onto plant material (such as mint, oregano, parsley ginger or cannabis leaves) and then smoked.
PCP is a synthetic, antiglutamatergic hallucinogen that works as an NMDA receptor antagonist. The NMDA receptor refers to synaptic plasticity and the neurochemical foundations of learning and memory. This makes PCP considerably more dangerous than other hallucinogens. With the NMDA receptor blocked, the user can demonstrate psychotic, aggressive, unpredictable behaviour without remorse or the slightest recollection of their actions. PCP is a dangerous, unpredictable drug and has lost a lot of its popularity because of this. As a result, PCP traffickers try to falsely represent it as other drugs such as LSD.
Physical short-term side effects vary depending on the amount consumed. The side effects of PCP use can extend for 8 days or longer. Low dosages can result in slurred speech, problems balancing and walking, numbness in the extremities and bloodshot eyes. Moderate doses can relieve pain and sedate the user, while higher doses can lead to convulsions, heart failure and/or death. Psychological short-term side effects can include depersonalization, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, euphoria; aggressive, violent or unpredictable behaviour, depression and suicidal ideation, mood swings, delusions and the feeling of being “detached from reality.” The analgesic (pain relieving) properties of PCP can cause the user to feel less pain. In many cases this can result in self-mutilation, destruction of property, violent or injurious acts, acts of extreme strength and/or suicide.
Long-term use can result in several side effects including depression, mood disorders, difficulty thinking and speaking, memory loss and psychological disturbances such as schizophrenia. PCP is highly psychologically addictive and causes tolerance with regular use.
PCP will remain in urine for 7 to 14 days after use, but can be detected in urine within 4 to 6 hours of use. These numbers can fluctuate depending on factors relating to the user’s age, metabolism and physical attributes. PCP is excreted in urine as an unchanged drug (4-19%) and conjugated metabolites (25-30%).
PCP Street Names
- Angel Dust
- Angel Hair
- Angel Poke
- Animal Tranq
- Beam Me Up Scotty
- Crystal Supergrass (PCP & THC)
- Flake Hog
- Love Boot
- Peace Pill
- Rocket Fuel
- Special K
- Star Dust