What Is PCP? How Does Addiction Form?
Phencyclidine (PCP) is an illegal street drug often sold as a white powder or sometimes a liquid. The powder is easily dissolved into liquids, which makes it possible for someone to add it to another person’s drink. PCP may also be injected through a vein, inhaled through the nose, smoked, or swallowed. Sometimes called killer weed or angel dust, this highly addictive and dangerous drug can lead to addiction, dependence, and sudden death from overdose.
How Does PCP Affect the Brain?
PCP is a type of mind-altering drug, or hallucinogen. PCP interacts with the function of the central nervous system, altering a person’s mood, behavior, and the way they relate to the world around them. It also impairs the normal function of some brain chemicals. Some people may have hallucinations when using this drug, seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
In some situations, a person may also feel detached or somehow separated from their body or their surroundings when using PCP. Some people also experience a sense of euphoria. They may feel as though they are invincible and engage in risky behavior as a result.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Aside from causing these types of intense changes in brain function and reality, PCP can also cause the following:
- Numbness throughout the body. This can cause a loss of mobility and coordination in some people.
- Hearing voices. This can lead to violent behavior and aggression. A person may act strangely or become paranoid when using this drug.
- An increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. In some situations, a high dose can lead to the heart stopping.
- Memory loss and cognitive function decline. Over time, it may become hard to think clearly or to process information normally.
- Mental health disorders. These may include intense anxiety, depression, and panic. In some cases, the mental health disorder can lead to suicidal behavior.
- Organ failure. Kidneys, heart, and lungs can all suffer from the use of PCP.
It’s also possible to overdose on PCP. This can happen with a first dose or any other dose. An overdose may cause heart arrhythmias, seizures, and death.
Does PCP Cause Addiction?
Even one use of PCP carries risks. Continued use can lead to addiction. A person can develop intense cravings for the drug. The sense of euphoria from PCP triggers the reward center in the brain, encouraging the brain to seek out more of the drug on a consistent basis.
How to Get Help for Phencyclidine Addiction
A person using phencyclidine with any regularity may find it difficult to stop using on their own. Over time, PCP addiction leads to dependence, which means a person feels intense cravings for the drug, and when they try to stop using it, they feel withdrawal symptoms. If that’s what is happening to you, reach out to a treatment center for immediate help.
Treatment for PCP addiction may require the use of drug detox, a process that allows your body to rid itself of the substance while also working to restore normal function. Inpatient or outpatient treatment will follow detox, allowing you to work with a therapist to discover the root causes of the addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, and depression.
You’re not alone if you are using PCP. Your first step is to find treatment that can help you. Victory Addiction Recovery Center offers the support you need to overcome addiction for good.
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