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PCP Fact Sheet


PCPPhencyclidine, commonly called P.C.P., in its pharmaceutically pure form is a white powder which readily dissolves in water. It also is available in a liquid form called "water" or "dip" in which cigarettes are dipped into the liquid, dried, and smoked. In street form, PCP is often adulterated and misrepresented as other drugs.

When misrepresented, PCP is most commonly sold at THC (the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), which in reality is rarely, if ever, available on the streets. But it has also been sold as cannabinol (another marijuana constituent), mescaline, psilocybin, LSD, and even amphetamine or cocaine. Because of the variability in street names and its frequent misrepresentation, the user may be unaware of what he or she has ingested.

Phencyclidine was originally developed as an anesthetic for use with humans, however, it was later abandoned for that purpose because in some patients it produced post-operative thought disturbances agitation. It was then used in veterinary medicine as an animal immobilizing agent, but due to negative result, PCP has been declared to have no acceptable medical use within the state of Oklahoma.

PCP made its first illicit appearance in 1965 on the West Coast. At that time it rapidly developed a bad street reputation and had only limited popularity. Since then, there have been sporadic outbreaks of its use. Most recently, evidence from a variety of sources suggests a marked increase in use. Although its original method of use was oral ingestion, presently PCP is commonly smoked or snorted. Depersonalization and distortion of body image are among the effects reported most frequently from a moderate amount of PCP The user feels a sense of distance and estrangement from his surroundings. Time expands and body movements are slowed.

This is an extremely concerning drug for several reasons. It gives the user an uncontrollable adrenaline high, euphoria, panic sensation. It also separates nerve receptors whereby the user feels no pain regardless of the intensity. Because of these two factors, combative users are difficult to control, in some cases having the ability to break through a set of handcuffs.

There are stories on the streets that PCP is the same product as formaldehyde (embalming fluid). In fact, there are documented cases where people have broken into funeral homes to steel formaldehyde because it can produce a high resembling that of PCP. However, PCP and embalming fluid are not the same product. Ingesting formaldehyde in any fashion can cause immediate coma, seizures, brain loss and death.

Some street names for PCP include: Angel Dust, Dust, Dip, Water, Embalming Fluid, Killer Weed, Super Weed, Rocket Fuel and Whack.