The term dissociative is a kind of substances that naturally induce hallucinations and give the user the sensation of leaving the body and experiencing dreamlike, psychedelic episodes. Lysergic acid, or LSD, is one such drug that creates this kind of euphoric state in a user, and included in the same realm is another man-made substance with similar properties but can be more damaging. Phencyclidine is a dissociative drug that can prove damaging and/or deadly.
Known by streets names angel dust, killer joint, and rocket fuel, Phencyclidine (PCP) is a white powder with a bitter flavor. It was originally created to act as an anesthetic for medicinal purposes. The potency of the drug, in particular its ability to warp depth perception and enhance mental detachment, was too strong for traditional use, and the drug was made illegal in the 1960s.
The Effects of PCP
When taken, PCP acts to effect the nervous system through distribution of glutamate, a prevalent amino acid that helps control the body's metabolism. When glutamate to the brain is decreased, the user may experience difficulty with balance and perception of pain and other sensations, and may be subject to hallucinations and memory loss.
The Dangers of PCP
Whether taken alone or with other drugs, PCP is known to be addictive. Prolonged abuse of PCP has been known to cause violent and/or suicidal behavior in users, while many others experience increased blood pressure, numbness in limbs, and respiratory effects. Due to the powerful nature of the drug, it is believed people who have experimented with PCP once may suffer the effects for months and years afterward in the form of slurred speech, hallucinations, and even seizures.
People who suspect friends or loved ones of using PCP may wish to look for symptoms, which include:
Memory loss, Difficulty with speech, Periods of depression, Rapid, unexplained weight loss, Mood swings, Problems with balance, Continued nausea and vomiting
It is important, if you suspect a loved one of abusing PCP or any type of drug, to consult with a professional about what steps to take. PCP can not only be dangerous when ingested, but may prove to have risks to the environment, number of PCP-related deaths involve the user causing physical problems to others or themselves by reacting aggressively to the drug.