PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but its use for humans was discontinued because it caused some patients to become agitated, delusional, and/or irrational.(1) Today, PCP is illegally manufactured in labs and sold as tablets, capsules, or colored powder. It can be snorted, smoked, or eaten. PCP is a dissociative drug in the sense that it distorts perceptions of sight and sound, while producing the feelings of detachment from the environment and self. The effects of dissociative drugs are caused by their ability to alter the distribution of glutamate throughout the brain.
PCP use can lead to dependence. At low to moderate doses, the physiological effects of PCP include :
At high doses of PCP, the physiologic effects include :
Abusers are sometimes brought into emergency rooms due to overdose or the adverse psychological effects of the drug. Patients experiencing such effects can become violent or suicidal and may pose a threat to themselves and others.
Street names for PCP include angel dust, hog, ozone, rocket fuel, wack, and super weed.