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How Drugs Work

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Drug Information

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PCP

Angel dust

Alcoholic Drinks

Common names

PCP, angel dust.

Generic name

Phencyclidine.

Scientific names

Phencyclidine or benactazine.

Action

Psychedelic, anaesthetic.

Drug form

Powder, tablets.

Drug effects

Desired:

Relaxation, disinhibition and hallucinations. PCP has been sold under the name of other psychedelic drugs, so unwitting users would be looking for effects similar to LSD i.e.hallucinations and hilarity.

Side-effects:

Decreased sensitivity to pain, drowsiness, dizziness, numbness, loss of coordination, confusion, hallucinations, dissociation ('out-of-the-body' feelings). PCP has a reputation in the USA for producing violent, paranoid and psychotic behaviour in its users. Because it is only rarely seen in the UK it is not clear if these effects would be found in UK users. See How drugs work.

Medical use

As a veterinary anaesthetic.

Risks

Short-term:

Accidents, overdose, collapse, convulsions.

Long-term:

As yet unknown but may include speech problems and memory loss.

Legal status

Class A under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971.

How is it taken?

Tablets can be taken orally, powder can be snorted up the nose, sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked, or injected.

Paraphernalia

If snorted:

razor blade, hard level surface (such as a mirror or glass), tube or rolled banknote.

If smoked:

cigarette papers, tobacco or marijuana.

If injected:

syringe and needle, water, spoon, tourniquet.

Images

Where does it come from?

This drug is well known in the USA but is rarely seen in Britain. It may be imported, probably from the USA or diverted from domestic veterinary supplies.

Helping services

Counselling agencies may be appropriate.