PCP (Angel Dust): Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use

Uncover the effects, hazards, and extent of PCP (Angel Dust) use. Get the facts and support for a safer future.

Published On

July 6, 2024

Understanding PCP (Angel Dust)

PCP, also known as Angel Dust, is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that affects the mind and body. In this section, we will explore what PCP is, how it is used, and its legal status.

What is PCP (Angel Dust)?

PCP, short for phencyclidine, is a synthetic dissociative drug that was originally developed as an anesthetic. However, due to its severe side effects and potential for abuse, it is no longer used for medical purposes. PCP is typically found in the form of a white crystalline powder or as a tablet, capsule, or liquid.

When ingested, PCP affects the brain by disrupting the actions of neurotransmitters, specifically glutamate, which is involved in perception, emotions, and pain. This disruption leads to altered perceptions, hallucinations, and a dissociative state where individuals may feel detached from their surroundings or have a distorted sense of self.

How is PCP (Angel Dust) Used?

PCP can be consumed in various ways, including:

  1. Oral ingestion: PCP can be swallowed in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid.
  2. Smoking: The powder or liquid form of PCP can be mixed with tobacco or marijuana and smoked.
  3. Injection: Although less common, PCP can be dissolved in a liquid and injected into the bloodstream.

The method of administration can influence the intensity and duration of the effects. Smoking or injection generally produces a quicker onset of effects compared to oral ingestion.

Legal Status of PCP (Angel Dust)

PCP is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, meaning it is illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute without a valid medical prescription. Its use is strictly regulated due to its high potential for abuse and severe adverse effects.

Internationally, the legal status of PCP varies by country. Some countries have completely banned PCP, while others have imposed strict regulations on its production, sale, and possession.

It's important to note that the legal status of PCP does not reflect its safety or lack thereof. PCP is a highly dangerous and illicit drug that poses significant risks to both physical and mental health.

Understanding the basics of PCP, including its nature, methods of use, and legal status, provides a foundation for further exploration of its effects, hazards, and extent of use.

Effects of PCP (Angel Dust) Use

PCP, commonly known as Angel Dust, is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that can have a range of effects on the mind and body. Understanding these effects is essential in recognizing the potential risks and hazards associated with PCP use. This section explores the short-term effects, long-term effects, and health risks of PCP use.

Short-Term Effects

The short-term effects of PCP can be intense and unpredictable. These effects can vary depending on the dose, method of administration, and individual factors. Some common short-term effects of PCP use include:

  • Distorted perception of time, space, and reality
  • Hallucinations, both visual and auditory
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Feelings of detachment from oneself or the environment
  • Increased strength and diminished pain perception
  • Agitation, aggression, and violent behavior
  • Numbness and loss of coordination
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

It is important to note that the effects of PCP can be highly unpredictable, and individuals may experience a wide range of reactions. The intensity and duration of these effects can also vary from person to person.

Long-Term Effects

Long-term PCP use can lead to a range of physical, psychological, and cognitive problems. Prolonged use of PCP can result in the following long-term effects:

  • Memory loss and cognitive impairment
  • Speech difficulties and impaired thinking
  • Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Respiratory problems and lung damage (when smoked)
  • Kidney damage and urinary problems
  • Weight loss and malnutrition (due to appetite suppression)

The long-term effects of PCP use can have a significant impact on an individual's overall health and well-being. It is crucial to seek help and support for PCP addiction and dependence to minimize the risk of long-term consequences.

Health Risks and Hazards

PCP use poses various health risks and hazards, both in the short term and long term. Some of the specific health risks associated with PCP use include:

The health risks and hazards associated with PCP use highlight the importance of prevention, education, and seeking appropriate treatment for individuals struggling with PCP addiction or dependence. Understanding the potential consequences can aid in making informed decisions and seeking help when needed.

Extent of PCP (Angel Dust) Use

Understanding the extent of PCP (Angel Dust) use is crucial in order to address the associated risks and consequences. This section examines the prevalence and popularity of PCP (Angel Dust) use, as well as the demographics and patterns of use. It also highlights the risks and consequences that users may face.

Prevalence and Popularity

PCP (Angel Dust) use has significantly declined since its peak in the 1970s and 1980s. However, it remains a concern in certain communities and regions. The exact prevalence of PCP (Angel Dust) use is difficult to determine due to its illicit nature and the lack of comprehensive data.

Demographics and Patterns of Use

PCP (Angel Dust) use does not discriminate and can affect individuals of various ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, certain patterns have been observed:

  • Age: PCP (Angel Dust) use is more commonly reported among younger individuals, particularly those in their late teens to early thirties.
  • Gender: Both males and females engage in PCP (Angel Dust) use, although males tend to report higher rates of use.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: PCP (Angel Dust) use can be found across different socioeconomic groups, although it may be more prevalent in lower-income communities.

It's important to note that PCP (Angel Dust) use is often associated with polydrug use, meaning individuals may be using multiple substances simultaneously, which can further complicate the patterns and demographics of use.

Risks and Consequences of Use

PCP (Angel Dust) use poses numerous risks and consequences to individuals' physical and mental health, as well as their overall well-being. Some of the potential risks and consequences include:

  • Acute Toxicity: PCP (Angel Dust) is known for its unpredictable and potent effects, which can lead to severe intoxication and overdose. This can result in hallucinations, delirium, psychosis, and even life-threatening outcomes.
  • Physical Health Effects: PCP (Angel Dust) use can impair motor skills, coordination, and cognition. It may also cause respiratory depression, elevated heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
  • Mental Health Effects: Prolonged PCP (Angel Dust) use can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Social and Behavioral Consequences: PCP (Angel Dust) use can lead to impaired judgment, aggression, violence, and risky behaviors. It can strain relationships, hinder occupational functioning, and result in legal issues.

Understanding the extent of PCP (Angel Dust) use and the associated risks is crucial for prevention, harm reduction, and support for individuals who may be struggling with its use. By raising awareness and providing appropriate resources, we can work towards reducing the impact of PCP (Angel Dust) use on individuals and communities.

Treatment and Support

When it comes to addressing PCP (Angel Dust) use, seeking help and receiving appropriate treatment and support are crucial steps towards recovery. Here we will explore the different aspects of treatment and the resources available for individuals struggling with PCP (Angel Dust) use.

Seeking Help for PCP (Angel Dust) Use

Recognizing the need for help and reaching out for support is a significant first step towards recovery. It's important for individuals using PCP (Angel Dust) to understand that they are not alone and that there are resources available to assist them.

If you or someone you know is struggling with PCP (Angel Dust) use, it is recommended to seek professional help. There are various avenues to consider, including:

  • Consulting a healthcare professional or addiction specialist: They can provide guidance, assess the situation, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
  • Contacting a helpline or support hotline: Helplines dedicated to substance abuse can offer immediate assistance, provide information, and refer individuals to local resources.
  • Speaking with a trusted friend or family member: Opening up about the issue to a supportive individual can provide emotional support and encourage seeking professional help.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and the first step towards a healthier and happier life.

Treatment Options and Approaches

Effective treatment for PCP (Angel Dust) use typically involves a comprehensive approach tailored to the individual's specific needs. Treatment options may include:

  • Detoxification: This process involves safely managing withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation: Residential treatment programs provide a structured environment where individuals receive intensive therapy, counseling, and support.
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation: These programs offer flexibility, allowing individuals to receive treatment while maintaining their daily routines.
  • Individual and Group Therapy: Therapy sessions, both one-on-one and in a group setting, help individuals address the underlying factors contributing to PCP (Angel Dust) use and develop coping strategies.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

The most effective treatment plans are often personalized and may involve a combination of these approaches to address the specific needs of each individual.

Support and Resources for Recovery

Recovering from PCP (Angel Dust) use requires ongoing support and access to resources that can assist individuals in maintaining their sobriety. Some sources of support and resources include:

  • Support Groups: Joining support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can provide a sense of community and understanding among individuals who have faced similar challenges.
  • Counseling and Therapy: Continued therapy and counseling can help individuals address any underlying issues, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and prevent relapse.
  • Aftercare Programs: Engaging in aftercare programs, such as outpatient counseling or support group meetings, can provide ongoing support and guidance during the recovery process.
  • Community Resources: Local organizations, community centers, and government agencies may offer resources for substance abuse treatment and support.

Remember, recovery is a journey, and having a strong support system and access to resources can greatly contribute to long-term success.

By seeking help, exploring available treatment options, and utilizing support and resources, individuals struggling with PCP (Angel Dust) use can embark on a path towards recovery and a healthier, substance-free life.


In conclusion, PCP (Angel Dust) is a dangerous and illicit drug that can have severe consequences for individuals who use it. Understanding the nature of PCP, its effects, and associated risks is essential in addressing the issue of PCP use.

While PCP use has declined since its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, it remains a concern in certain communities and regions. The lack of comprehensive data on its prevalence highlights the need for continued research and monitoring to address this issue.

For individuals struggling with PCP use, seeking help and receiving appropriate treatment and support are crucial steps towards recovery. There are various resources available to assist individuals on their journey towards sobriety.

By raising awareness about the risks and consequences of PCP (Angel Dust) use, promoting prevention efforts, providing education and resources for those who may be struggling with addiction or dependence, we can work towards reducing the impact of this dangerous drug on individuals and communities.


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