What is PCP?
PCP, short for phencyclidine, is an incredibly powerful sedative drug. Most sedative drugs are prescribed to calm individuals to help with their issues such as anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and more, but PCP is so potent that it was taken off of the market. PCP was once used as an anesthetic for surgery in the 1950s, but it is now sold on the streets to be used recreationally. The consumption of PCP results in many effects that can be dangerous to an individual’s physical and mental health.
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that around 6 million Americans ages 12 and older have used phencyclidine at least once throughout their life. The PCP drug comes in the form of a tablet, capsule, liquid, crystal, or white powder and is commonly consumed by swallowing, smoking, or snorting. The drug is often mixed with marijuana and tobacco products. Although small amounts of PCP are manufactured for research purposes, most of the drug is made illegally.
What are the Effects of PCP on the Body?
PCP was taken off the market because its side effects were so strong. A low dose of PCP can result in side effects such as relaxation, euphoria, slurred speech, unusual behaviors, staring blankly, rapid eye movements, numbness, and problems concentrating. Higher doses can result in hallucinations, delusions, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and extreme anxiety.
Some of the short-term effects of phencyclidine use include hallucinations, perception problems, and the individual feeling like they are detached from the environment and their bodies. The short-term effects of PCP can be felt within 2 minutes of consuming the drug if smoked or 30-60 minutes if swallowed. The amount of time for the effects to begin and the duration of the effects lasting vary depending on the amount of PCP used.
The long-term effects of PCP can significantly influence an individual’s physical and mental health. Some of the long-term effects include memory problems, speech problems, extreme depression and anxiety, severe weight loss, and flashbacks. Some of the effects that people experience when on the drug may persist even in the absence of the drug, such as still having hallucinations even when not taking phencyclidine. These effects may last for a year or longer.
Can You Become Addicted to PCP?
PCP can become addictive when used for extended periods of time. The body may develop a dependence on the drug, meaning that the body would not be able to function properly without it. An individual will know if they have formed a PCP dependence if they experience withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the drug such as headaches, anxiety, or muscle spasms. PCP addiction requires a detoxification process; this helps the body “ween” off of the substance slowly while monitored by medical professionals to avoid harsh withdrawal symptoms and decrease their chances of relapsing.
An addiction to PCP may be formed when the individuals begin to neglect personal obligations, start having problems in their relationships and start to get in trouble with the law as a result of their drug use. Addiction causes individuals to make the drugs they are regularly using their priority in life, and it can take a serious toll on their health and personal life. It is vital for an individual suffering from a PCP addiction to get help right away.
What Treatment Options are Available for PCP Addiction?
Luckily, there are many different treatment options available for people suffering from PCP addiction. Some of these treatments include:
- Holistic approaches — by including the mind with the body in the addiction recovery process, individuals receive a more holistic approach to healing. Holistic approaches are more beneficial because people learn different life skills that will better equip them to avoid relapse in the future.
- Support groups — being surrounded by an abundance of people who have been in the same situation as you can help a person come out of their addiction. In support groups and group therapy, individuals suffering from addiction realize that they are not alone and that they can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
- Faith-based approaches — finding spirituality and relying on Jesus can help an individual to manage their addiction. By learning about the beliefs, teachings, and practices of Christianity, individuals realize that there is more to life than just their addiction.
- Counseling — by learning how to communicate openly and honestly with a counselor, it can help individuals talk about their addiction and the problems they are facing in life. This will assist them to get their feelings off their chest and move forward in the recovery process.
If you or a loved one is addicted to phencyclidine, call A Forever Recovery at our toll-free number. At A Forever Recovery, you can find resources and different treatment options available to help people suffering from addiction achieve long-term sobriety. Call today to get started on your journey.