What Is PCP/ What is Angel Dust Drug
PCP Drug, (Angel Dust, Sherm, and Sernyl) is a synthetic dissociative substance of the arylcyclohexylamine chemical class that produces potent, long-lived dissociating, anesthetic, stimulating, disinhibiting and hallucinogenic effects when administered.
PCP drug acts primarily as an NMDA receptor antagonist, meaning it binds to and blocks the activity of the NMDA receptor, the receptor responsible for the transmission of neural impulses in the central nervous system.
It was marketed in the 1950s as an anesthetic pharmaceutical drug but was taken off the market in 1965 due to the high prevalence of dissociating and hallucinogenic side effects it produced. Afterward, a similar structurally related compound named ketamine was discovered by Parke-Davis researchers as a better-tolerated derivative for use as an anesthetic pharmaceutical drug.
PCP emerged as a recreational drug in mid-1967, under the name “The Peace Pill”. Since this time, a number of synthetic derivatives of PCP have been sold as dissociative drugs for both recreational and non-medical use. As an established “street drug”, PCP is associated with compulsive abuse.
As a recreational substance, PCP may be ingested orally, smoked, insufflated or via injection. Due to its potent dissociative and stimulant effects, known habit-forming properties as well as an established toxicity profile, it is strongly recommended that one use proper harm reduction practices if choosing to use this substance.
PCP’s effects include sedation, immobility, amnesia, and marked analgesia. The effects of PCP drug vary by the route of administration and dose. The intoxicating effects can be produced within 2 to 5 minutes after smoking and 30 to 60 minutes after swallowing. PCP drug intoxication may last from 4 to 8 hours; some users report experiencing subjective effects from 24 to 48 hours after using angel dust. Low to moderate doses (1 to 5 mg) induce feelings of detachment from surroundings and self, numbness, slurred speech and loss of coordination accompanied by a sense
of strength and invulnerability.
PCP is abused for its mind altering effects. It can be abused by snorting, smoking or swallowing. Smoking is the most common method of abusing PCP. Leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, tobacco, or marijuana is saturated with PCP, and subsequently rolled into a cigarette and smoked. A marijuana joint or cigarette dipped in liquid PCP is known as a “dipper.” PCP is typically used in
small quantities; 5 to 10 mg is an average dose.
Toxicity and harm potential
The long-term use of angel dust may lead to schizophrenia-like psychotic episodes, severe lasting memory loss, disorganized thinking, depression, weight loss, liver abnormalities and rhabdomyolysis (skeletal muscle breakdown).
PCP has been reported to cause psychosis and mania at a significantly higher rate than other dissociatives such as ketamine, diphenidine, or MXE. Multiple scientific papers describe states of psychosis, mania, and/or delirium occurring after moderate to large doses of the drug were ingested. In one initial human trial, it was reported that one-sixth of the patients who had received anesthetic doses experienced acute psychosis. In some cases, it took up to a week or more to resolve. Similar results (although less severe) were reported during trials using subanesthetic doses of angel dust drug for pain relief.
It is very strongly recommended that one use extreme caution and harm reduction practices when using this drug. For example,
- Users should avoid taking the drug multiple days in a row or becoming addicted to it as this increases the risk of severe adverse effects.
- The recommended dosage range should not be exceeded as high doses can trigger adverse effects.
- Users should start with extremely low doses and work their way up as slowly as possible. Volumetric liquid dosing should preferably be used due to the drug’s potency; most standard milligram scales cannot accurately weigh out doses below 10-15mg.
- Compulsive redosing before one has fully sobered up is not recommended and can result in too high of a dose.
Due to the risk of psychosis, it is not recommended to combine this drug with other substances, especially stimulants, psychedelics, or other dissociatives like MXE and DXM. Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.
Tolerance and addiction potential
The chronic use of angel dust drug can be considered highly addictive with a high potential for adverse side effects such as psychosis. In comparison to other dissociatives, PCP drug has been reported to be more addictive than MXE, diphenidine, ephenidine, and ketamine. When addiction has developed, cravings and withdrawal effects may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage. There have been multiple reports across the internet of people becoming seriously addicted daily users of this substance so serious precautions and considerations should be taken before trying this substance.
Tolerance to many of the effects of PCP drug develops with prolonged and repeated use. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. After that, it takes about 3 – 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 1 – 2 weeks to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). PCP presents cross-tolerance with all dissociatives, meaning that after the consumption of PCP, all dissociatives will have a reduced effect.
Some studies found that, like other NMDA receptor antagonists, Angel dust can cause brain damage called Olney’s lesions in rats. Studies conducted on rats showed that high doses of the NMDA receptor antagonist dizocilpine caused reversible vacuoles to form in certain regions of the rats’ brains. All studies of Olney’s lesions have only been performed on non-human animals and may not apply to humans. One unpublished study by Frank Sharp reportedly showed no damage by the NMDA antagonist ketamine (a similar drug) far beyond recreational doses but its validity is controversial since it was never published.
PCP has also been shown to cause schizophrenia-like changes in N-acetylaspartate and N-acetylaspartylglutamate levels in the rat brain, which are detectable both in living rats and upon necropsy examination of brain tissue. It also induces symptoms in humans that mimic schizophrenia.
Urinary tract effects
In terms of its long-term health effects when used repeatedly and excessively for extended periods of time, PCP seems to exhibit almost identical bladder and urinary tract problems to those produced by ketamine.
- Urinary frequency – Urinary frequency is the need to empty the bladder every few minutes.
- Urinary urgency – This can be described as a sudden, compelling need to urinate.
- Urinary pressure – This is experienced as a constant sensation of fullness in the bladder that is unrelieved by urination.
- Pelvic and bladder pain – Pain can develop suddenly and severely, particularly as the bladder fills with urine.
- Hematuria – Hematuria is visible blood in the urine.
- Incontinence – This is the uncontrolled leakage of urine.
Although many psychoactive substances are reasonably safe to use on their own, they can suddenly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The following list includes some known dangerous combinations (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them). Independent research should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- MXE – There are no reports available about this combination.
- Caffeine – Details of this combination are not well understood but PCP generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- Opioids – PCP can reduce opioid tolerance, increasing the risk of overdose.
- DOx – Details of this combination are not well understood but PCP generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- Amphetamines – This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states.
- MDMA – This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states.
- Cocaine – This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states.
- Alcohol – Details of this combination are not well understood but PCP generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- Benzodiazepines – Both substances potentiate the ataxia and sedation caused by the other and can lead to unexpected loss of consciousness at high doses. While unconscious, vomit aspiration is a risk if not placed in the recovery position. Memory blackouts are likely.
- SSRIs – Details of this combination are not well understood but PCP generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- GHB – Details of this combination are not well understood but angel dust generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- GBL – Details of this combination are not well understood but PCP generally interacts in an unpredictable manner.
- MAOIs – Little information exists about this combination.
PCP Drug/ Angel Dust Drug
Internationally, PCP is a Schedule II substance under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
- Austria – PCP is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
- Canada – PCP is Schedule I in Canada.
- Germany: PCP is controlled under BtMG Anlage I, making it illegal to manufacture, import, possess, sell, or transfer it without a license.
- New Zealand – PCP is Schedule I (class A) in New Zealand.
- Poland – PCP is listed under “Wykaz środków odurzających i substancji psychotropowych[” (II-P group) in Poland, and is illegal to posses, sell and manufacture.
- Portugal – Effective July 2001, personal use of PCP drug was decriminalized by Law 30/2000. Possession of less than 100 mg is not regarded as a criminal offense, although the substance is liable to be seized and the possessor can be referred to mandatory treatment. Sale or possession of quantities greater than the personal possession limit are criminal offenses punishable by jail time.
- Switzerland: PCP is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis A. Medicinal use is permitted.
- United Kingdom – PCP is a class A in the U.K., making it illegal to buy or possess without a prescription.
- United States – PCP is a Schedule II controlled substance.