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A Brief Overview of PCP and Its Analogs

By Andrew David Easler, Esq.

Phencyclidine – more popularly known as PCP – and its analogs fall under the category of dissociative drugs. Though it was originally developed to be an anesthetic, this drug is highly dangerous and is classified as a DEA Schedule I or II drug.

This may be confusing, as Schedule I drugs are known to have no accepted medical uses, while Schedule II drugs have acceptable uses but must be controlled in very limited quantities. Basically, when PCP was first developed, it was designed to be an anesthetic, but it has no known or approved medical uses today, and so it is classified and treated as a Schedule I drug.

Drug Details – What Is PCP?

A dissociative anesthetic, PCP puts the user in a trance-like sedated state. While the user may not lose consciousness, they will feel detached from reality, their environment, and/or their body.

The History of PCP

In the 1950s, researchers developed PCP in an attempt to create a new intravenous anesthetic. However, the resulting drug caused a number of side effects, including delirium, hallucinations, and manic episodes. As a result, by the 1960s, PCP’s research was discontinued, and Ketamine was developed as a potential replacement.

Today, Ketamine is considered safe for human use, and it is a Schedule III controlled substance. PCP, on the other hand, has a place on either the Schedule I or II lists. When it is pure, PCP is found as a white crystalline powder, and it can easily be dissolved in liquids. However, most PCP found on the street today contains contaminants that will cause the drug to take on a gummy consistency and to be yellow or dark brown in color.

Illicit PCP and its analogs are available now in a number of forms to be swallowed, injected, or smoked. These include tablets, capsules, or powders, and there is a liquid form, as well. To smoke it, users typically spray liquid PCP over marijuana, tobacco, oregano, parsley, or mint, wait for the leaves to dry, and then smoke them.

Street Names for PCP and PCP Analogs

A lot of people simply refer to PCP by its abbreviation, but there are also a few different slang terms for the drug and its analogs, including:

  • Angel dust
  • Hog
  • Love boat
  • Boat
  • Peace Pill
  • Wack
  • Ozone
  • Green Kryptonite

Side Effects of Using PCP and Its Analogs

Some of the most common side effects associated with using PCP and its analogs include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness, especially in the extremities
  • Rapid, involuntary movement of the eyes
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Drooling
  • Blurred vision
  • Depressed respiration
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Some of these symptoms may only appear when PCP is in use, but some of them can persist for up to a year after it was taken. With extended use of the drug and its analogs, you can expect to experience more of these negative side effects.

What Does the High From PCP Feel Like?

Getting high on PCP will usually initially make the user feel detached from their body and/or their surroundings. After this initial dissociation, they may experience slurred speech and loss of coordination, which will often come in combination with a feeling of invincibility.

A PCP overdose is usually accompanied by depressed respiration and/or seizures, and may result in a coma or death. This is more common with users who have been getting high on PCP for an extended period of time, but someone who does not know how much to take could also overdose the first time that they try it.

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it. We give great legal advice, but this page (and the rest of our site) is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual legal advice. If you’d like to establish an attorney-client relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official. Sending us an email or reading this page alone doesn’t mean we represent you.

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