PCP (Phencyclidine): Mental effects

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:46 pm

As with most mind-altering drugs, the effects of PCP vary considerably from person to person and are strongly influenced by the user’s mood and mental status, the setting in which it is taken, and the dose used.
In general, PCP tends to be stimulating at low doses and depressing at higher doses. Its primary action is dissociative. That means it makes the mind feel separated from the body, which can be very scary for some people. Distortions in perceptions of bodily feelings can make people panic. People taking PCP often feel that they “lose track” of their bodies or believe that their own limbs do not belong to them. They feel physically and emotionally numb, which can lead to bizarre behavior. The numbness also makes some people think they have superhuman strength, since they do not feel pain, which can lead to dangerous behavior. People have described the feeling of being on PCP as being similar to the dream state experienced during a high fever. Many people consider this to be an unpleasant feeling.
At low to moderate doses (1-5 mg), PCP can produce the following Mental effects:
• changes in body awareness/altered body image
• dreamy, floating state
drunkenness similar to that experienced with alcohol
• anxiety/hostility/agitation, especially in people who did not know they were taking PCP
• lack of coordination
• disorganized thoughts
• depersonalization, or feeling detached from one’s own mind and body
• feelings of unreality
• altered sensory perception
• emotional instability
• sense of time slowing
• feeling of numb relaxation and sociability or anxiety and paranoia
• feeling of detachment, distance, estrangement from surroundings
At higher doses (5-15 mg), PCP can produce these additional effects:
mental turmoil
garbled, sparse speech
loss of memory
increased agitation
loss of sense of personal identity
image distortion
religious thoughts
pleasant feelings of strength and intoxication
sense of invulnerability or super strength
acute anxiety with a feeling of impending doom
violent hostility
extreme passivity that can turn to violence if confronted or threatened
At very high doses (over 15 mg), PCP produces a schizophrenia-like reaction or hallucinations of a persecutory nature (e.g., voices saying that they are out to kill the user).

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