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What to Know About PCP Treatment

pcp treatment

Get Help for PCP Abuse 

PCP is the common nickname for a hallucinogenic drug called phencyclidine. Also known as “angel dust,” it is an addictive substance with the ability to alter brain chemistry and can be smoked, swallowed, or injected. 

Today we are going to cover PCP addiction, signs and symptoms, as well as treatment. If you or someone you know needs help with overcoming addiction, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 for resources or call us at (844) 999-0874 to learn about treatment options in South Florida. If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing a PCP overdose, call 911 or go immediately to your nearest emergency room.

What Does PCP Do to the Brain? 

The effects of PCP vary depending on the amount taken and the medium it was consumed. Generally speaking, it creates a dissociative sensation that can give a person a feeling of complete disconnection from their surroundings. 

In simpler terms, PCP can make a person feel or act as if they are “not really there.” Their body might be physically present, but mentally they do not act like they are aware of their immediate environment.

What Are Signs of PCP Use? 

Because someone abusing PCP is often not in a cognizant state, they do not commonly make attempts to conceal their symptoms while high. The more visible signs that someone is on PCP include: 

Facial Signs 

Two primary symptoms of PCP abuse are present in the person’s facial movements, or lack thereof. A person who is currently on a PCP high might exhibit a blank or expressionless face. Others may also display random eye movements involuntarily. 

Speech and Coordination 

PCP users may also slur their speech and face difficulty maintaining coordination. This could affect their ability to communicate or maintain balance while moving or handling objects.

Dissociative Behaviors 

A person who is using PCP might report feelings of detachment from their environment or person. They might feel like they are in a fog, on the outside looking in, or in some other place entirely. 

Another sign of PCP use is a person feeling a sense of increased strength or invincibility. They may be inclined to engage in riskier or more violent physical activity as a result. 

Medical Indicators

Besides these more visible symptoms of PCP abuse, a person might also exhibit various medical symptoms like elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and bodily temperature in addition to irregular breathing. ‘

Symptoms of Prolonged PCP Use 

A person who has been using PCP for a long period of time may also develop other symptoms that can prove dangerous to themselves or others. These include: 

  • Impaired memory recall, reasoning ability, and speech aptitude 
  • Irritability and potential for violent behavior 
  • Psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation 
  • Addictive habits like prolonged binges, neglecting regular responsibilities, and excessive spending on PCP

Why Early PCP Treatment is So Important 

PCP is a highly addictive substance, and when a person abuse it, they can become a danger to themselves or others. With early intervention, a person can receive compassionate treatment from experienced professionals to help them overcome their addiction and transition to a peaceful post-drug life. 

What Does PCP Treatment Involve? 

If the person using PCP experiences an overdose, they should be taken immediately to the nearest emergency treatment center. There, medical professionals can perform life-saving interventions to stabilize them. After this, the substance abuse treatment process begins. 

In other cases where a person is not overdosing, they can begin their treatment right away. Depending on the severity of one’s abuse habits, they may be referred to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. 

Each person has their own recovery journey, but some stops you might make along the way can include:


Depending on the severity of the addiction, medication may be prescribed to help manage PCP withdrawal symptoms. A psychiatrist may also recommend other medications to treat any co-occurring mental health conditions that could be influencing the substance abuse behavior. 

Co-Occurring Assessment 

Sometimes, mental health conditions can contribute to substance abuse struggles. During treatment, a professional can work with the person to determine if there are any co-occurring conditions present that are influencing or worsening substance abuse behaviors. 

Individualized Therapy 

Individual therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focus on helping people recognize maladaptive behavior patterns in their lives and develop strategies to replace them with more productive ones. This might include counseling the person on altering their lifestyle, avoiding triggering situations, and learning new coping methods to deal with cravings. 

Post-Discharge Treatment 

For many who have completed a PCP treatment program, subsequent ongoing services and activities can prove immensely helpful in sustaining a life of recovery. These can include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Continued therapy sessions with a licensed counselor
  • Group therapies with others who share similar experiences
  • Alternative therapeutic techniques like art therapy 

Get Treatment for PCP in South Florida

At Compassion Behavioral Health, we are committed to helping our neighbors in South Florida overcome struggles with addiction to live freer, more fulfilling lives. To learn more about PCP treatment options, please contact us online or call us at (844) 503-0126.