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Effects of PCP?

While all drugs can produce devastating effects, Phencyclidine, or PCP, can be detrimental to a person’s well being.  PCP was initially designed for use as a surgical anesthetic in the 1950’s, but has since become illegal in the United States.  Drugs are typically classified as stimulants, depressants, or hallucinogens.  Stimulants work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.  Dopamine is responsible for causing pleasure, therefore an excess amount of dopamine makes an individual perceive more pleasure.  Depressants target a central nervous system neurotransmitter called GABA, whose primary job is to decrease brain activity and essentially calm down body and brain operations.  Hallucinogens are in a class of their own.  While stimulants and depressants trigger certain neurotransmitters to perform particular functions, hallucinogens aren’t as simple.  They are fundamentally disrupting the natural process of neurotransmitters, which results in changes to sensory perception.  

PCP is classified as a type of dissociative hallucinogen.  Dissociative drugs disrupt a chemical in the brain called glutamate where it meets with NMDA receptors, which are found on nerve cells throughout the brain.  Glutamate is imperative to proper brain functioning.  When it is altered, cognition, pain, and emotion are numbed. PCP is complicated because different doses of the drug can cause a huge variation in effects.  A minimal amount can cause physical and emotional numbness, along with a sense of relaxation.  Large doses of PCP can be extremely dangerous to the individual using it, as well as others around them.  

The unpredictably of the effects of PCP can be one of the most frightening aspects of the drug.  While small doses may prompt an individual to feel detached, disoriented, and numb, a large dose can cause severe hallucinations in the user.  The combination of physical desensitization and delusions a person may experience can make them quite dangerous to others.  They may experience paranoia and extreme agitation, resulting in physical alterations.  It is as though they develop superhuman strength, which no one is able to fight off alone.  When under the influence of PCP, a person may also feel invincible, which can result in great harm to themselves.  Sometimes a user may believe, for instance, they are able to fly, so they jump out of a window.  

For someone who uses PCP regularly, the effects can last weeks after they have gotten clean.  They may continue to have delusions and numbness, as well as anxiety and paranoia.  PCP can have severe long-term mental effects, such as memory loss and speech problems.  It can actually destroy cognitive functions in the brain, and make for a life of difficulties.  PCP is particularly harmful, and if you’re addicted, you should seek professional help immediately to avoid further cognitive or physical harm.

If you are ready to leave active addiction behind, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We can help you detox and figure out what program of treatment is right for you. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.