PCP (Phencyclidine): Ingestion methods

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:45 pm

PCP is found in liquid, powder, and tablet format. It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected.
Most often, PCP is smoked in either a pipe or cigarette. To do so, users apply the drug to a leafy material, such as parsley, oregano, mint, tobacco, or marijuana, then roll it or place it in a pipe to smoke. Commercial cigarettes are also sometimes dipped in a PCP solution and smoked. PCP smoke is very hot, so users often prefer mixing PCP with mentholated cigarettes or mint to cool the smoke and help prevent mouth and tongue irritation.
Snorting is the second most common way of taking PCP, although it is a distant second choice after smoking the drug. People who snort PCP inhale the powder into their nose through a straw or similar device in much the same way cocaine is snorted.
Most often, people who take PCP by mouth take the drug in the form of tablets. These tablets might be dyed any color.
In rare cases, PCP is injected. This is an especially dangerous way of taking the drug because, in the case of accidental overdose, there is no easy way of removing the drug from the body. Also, people who smoke PCP will often pass out before they overdose, while people who snort or eat the drug often vomit after taking very high doses. Injecting the drug offers neither of these built-in safeguards.
No matter how PCP is ingested, it is very difficult to determine how much of the drug is being taken because people who produce PCP are usually quite careless and do not know how to distribute PCP evenly. Two PCP cigarettes from the same batch might deliver as little as 1 mg or as much as 100 mg of PCP. Street PCP in powder, liquid, or tablet form also varies widely in terms of both potency and purity.
When PCP is smoked, the effects start within a few minutes, peak within a half hour, and wear off after about four to six hours. When eaten, it takes longer for the effects to start, but they last somewhat longer. It generally takes about 24 hours for someone who has taken PCP to feel completely normal again.

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