Phencyclidine, 1-(1-phencyclohexyl) piperidine, is a white crystalline powder which is readily soluble in water or alcohol. PCP is classified as a hallucinogen. PCP is a “dissociative” drug; it induces distortion of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment.
PCP was developed in the 1950s to be used as an intravenous anesthetic in the United States, but its use was discontinued due to the high incidence of patients
experiencing postoperative delirium with hallucinations. PCP is no longer produced or used for medical purposes in the United States.
PCP’s effects include sedation, immobility, amnesia, and marked analgesia. The effects of PCP 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 intoxication may last from 4 to 8 hours; some users report experiencing subjective effects from 24 to 48 hours after using PCP. 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.