The most common synonyms are:
PCP is often sold under the name mescaline.
- Angel dust, Crazy Eddie, Crystal, Elephant, Horse tranquilizers, Mess, Milk, Peace pill, Purple rain, Rocket fuel, TH.
Central nervous system disruptor (dissociative anesthetic):
- Disrupts mental processes: causes varying degrees of disturbances in brain function, perception, mood and cognitive processes.
- Crystalline powder (initially white)
- Coloured tablets and capsules
|Mechanism of action
- Depends on the dose ingested:
- Low doses: phencyclidine binds to a binding site within the NMDA receptor channel (causes mild inebriation).
- High doses: blocks the reuptake of monoamines (noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin) and the release of catecholamines (effect similar to amphetamines).
|Routes of administration
- Ingested, smoked (added to herbs or marijuana in a cigarette), snorted and injected.
|Effects sought out by the user
- Altered perception (similar to LSD):
- Body trip: distortion of body perception
- Distortions of time, space and body image as well as visual and auditory distortions
- Feeling of dissociation
- Feeling of inebriation
- Feeling of weightlessness/floating
- Stimulates pleasure
- Visual/auditory hallucinations
|Common toxic effects
- Blank staring
- Blurred vision
- Catatonic state: stereotyped movements, grimacing, sudden inability to speak
- Coordination problems
- Excessive tearing, salivation, sweating
- Feelings of alienation
- Increased blood pressure
- Mutism (lack of verbal expression)
- Myosis (constriction of the pupils)
- Numbness in the extremities
- Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement)
- Panic attacks
- Paranoid delusions
- Problems with attention/concentration/thought
- Retrograde amnesia
- Speech problems
- Abnormal increase in body temperature
- Brain hemorrhage
- Hypertensive crisis
- Kidney failure
- Muscle disorders
- Muscle rigidity
- Precipitation of a latent psychotic episode
- Respiratory arrest
- State of agitation: aggression, impulsiveness, violence
- Toxic psychosis
|Effects associated with chronic use
- Aggressiveness, violence
- Auditory hallucinations
- Paranoid disorders
- Social isolation
- Toxic psychosis
Tolerance (need to increase the dose to feel the same effect)
May develop as a result of regular use.
Yes, but poorly documented.
Onset and duration of action
||A few minutes
||4 to 6 hours, then gradually wears off over 24 hours
- If ingested, smoked or snorted: administer activated charcoal.
- No antidote available.
- Treatment is mainly symptomatic.
Many different street drugs are sold under the same name.
Furthermore, nothing guarantees the quantity, purity or even the content of a street drug in spite of the fact that it may, in some cases, look like medication.
If you need help or want to learn more:
Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada.