PCP was developed in the 1950's as an intravenous anesthetic. Use of PCP in
humans was discontinued in 1965, because it was found that patients often
became agitated, delusional, and irrational while recovering from its
anesthetic effects. PCP is still used as a veterinary tranquilizer and is
also illegally manufactured in laboratories. PCP is a white crystalline
powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive
bitter chemical taste. It can be mixed easily with dyes and turns up on the
illicit drug market in a variety of tablets, capsules, colored powders, and
liquids. It is sometimes sold to unsuspecting users as LSD, mescaline, or
PCP, commonly known as angel dust, is usually classified as a hallucinogen.
However, it also has the effects of a stimulant, an anesthetic, or a
narcotic pain-killer, depending on how much is taken. PCP has powerful and
unpredictable hallucinogenic properties. As a result, individual PCP
episodes can vary greatly. Many PCP users are brought to emergency rooms
because of its unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdose.
Continued PCP use can lead to psychological dependence, as well as
tolerance. PCP is typically taken by the oral ingestion of tablets or
capsules containing the powdered form. It is also commonly sniffed or smoked
in combination with marijuana or tobacco.
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