PCP Hospital Visits Significantly Increase in the US

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PCP Hospital Visits Significantly Increase in the US

For many years, the US has had a serious substance abuse problem that has affected all pillars of society. Aside from an increase in the use of cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines, there has been a steady growth of PCP hospital visits.

PCP was developed in the 1950s to be used as an intravenous anesthetic. However, its use was discontinued because patients often become delusional, agitated and irrational while steadily recovering from its anesthetic effects. Now, it has returned with a vengeance as an illegal substance. What is worse is that it can be taken in conjunction with other illegal drugs.

A Simple but Deadly Action

According to a study conducted by the Center for Substance Abuse Research, PCP causes significant disruption to glutamate. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that plays an important role in emotion, memory, and pain perception in addition to learning problems. Aside from that, it has the capability to control dopamine that causes an individual to experience elation.

When taken at a moderate to low dose, the drug’s physiological effects include a pronounced rise in pulse rate and blood pressure and a slight increase in breathing rate. The patient also experiences profuse sweating, flushing, and shallow breathing in addition to a loss of muscular coordination and general numbness of their extremities.

When taken in much higher dosages, it has a myriad of symptoms that often turn deadly. A patient’s blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse drop. It is also accompanied by blurred vision, vomiting, nausea, loss of balance, dizziness, and flicking of their eyes. This often results in comas, seizures and even death, contributing to the number of PCP hospital visits annually.

Disturbing Statistics on PCP Hospital Visits

Even though there are sufficient drug education programs that inform people of its harmful effects, many people tend to look away from the reality. The Center for Substance Abuse Research has indicated that most emergency room visits that are PCP-related are for people aged 24 to 35. Aside from that, there was a noticeable increase in PCP hospital visits within six years.

From 14,285 in 2005, they reached a zenith of 75,738 in 2011.  In a 2013 report, SAMHSA reported that overall emergency room visits related to PCP increased more than 400% between 2005 and 2011.

Making matters worse, there was a 289 percent increase in hospital visits that are phencyclidine-related in people aged 18 to 40. From a figure of 3,643 in 2005, it leaped to a total of 14,175 in 2011 alone. Another astonishing finding is that 69 percent of these visits were from the male segment of the population.

Notwithstanding the statistics, the report also states that additional knowledge regarding the various risks that PCP brings could greatly help healthcare workers. This is particularly true for medical teams that are at the forefront of emergency care. This could ensure that patients who come into an emergency room due to this illegal substance can obtain the appropriate treatment and care that they need.  In this way, the number of PCP hospital visits can decrease.

Hidden Consequences

PCP is indeed a highly addictive substance. Repeated use can lead to the development of cravings and a compulsive PCP-seeking attitude. Although many people avoid using PCP after they have knowingly tried it once, some of them do not. The main reason for their continued use is that it provides them with feelings of power and strength.

Other people state that they use PCP to induce feelings of invulnerability and the numbing effect on their minds. What these people do not know is that the prolonged use of PCP also has consequences aside from its short-term effects.

There have been reports that people who have used PCP for a long period of time often report difficulties with thinking and speech, depression, memory problems, and weight loss. The majority of these symptoms can last up to one year after stopping the use of PCP. Mood disorders have also been reported.

PCP has sedative effects and has the capability to interact negatively with other kinds of central nervous depressants. Some examples of these depressants are benzodiazepines and alcohol and combining these substances can often lead to coma or death.

A Ray of Hope

In order to escape these fatal consequences, people should admit themselves to a drug rehabilitation program. One of the programs that can help them get free from their PCP-related cravings is an inpatient drug treatment facility. There are many benefits that patients can obtain on an inpatient program.

Psychological, emotional and physical benefits are present in every portion of the treatment. A person who chooses an inpatient drug rehabilitation program is committing to a long-term and focused treatment plan. The time given to a drug rehabilitation program like this could be what helps prevent an individual from relapsing.

Physical Benefits

If a person has become totally physically dependent on a drug, they will have symptoms of withdrawal as soon as they stop taking it. Due to this, the first important benefit that an inpatient rehabilitation program provides is constant medical monitoring around the clock.

Because clients will be under medical care, they are protected in case any issues arise during rehabilitation. Medical professionals and nurses are always there in order to help a recovering addict lessen their symptoms and help them get through their rehabilitation as fast and safely as possible.

Emotional Benefits

The emotional part of inpatient drug rehabilitation is frequently characterized as spiritual and mental treatment. Each inpatient program has its very own treatment philosophy. Although the primary objective is dealing with the co-occurring psychological disorders and physical addiction, it is also vital for a treatment facility to provide patients with stability and peace.

Through this, they provide recovering addicts with a space between themselves and the stresses found in the outside world. This allows a recovering addict to focus entirely on their recovery.

Psychological Benefits

A residential drug rehabilitation program uses a wide range of psychological therapy methods. This is done in order to help people talk through their history with drugs, their current steps in becoming free from illegal substances and their future without them. Each inpatient facility offers various kinds of therapy.

At the same time, each person will need different types of treatment based on their situation. These inpatient treatment facilities also have an approach that aims to provide rehabilitation for people who have co-morbid psychological disorders. These disorders are often diagnosed in people who are battling a PCP drug addiction.  These inpatient treatment programs are helping in many ways to bring down the number of PCP hospital visits and help people reclaim their lives.

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