PCP (phencyclidine) is a dissociative anesthetic similar to ketamine and also known as angel dust. This substance is capable of inducing hallucinations, delusions, irrational behavior, and out-of-body sensations. While PCP addiction can be damaging and disruptive, stimulant use disorder can be effectively addressed with appropriate treatment.
This guide to PCP addiction addresses the following issues and shows you how to connect with evidence-based treatment in Southern California:
- Is PCP addicting?
- How addictive is PCP?
- How is PCP addictive?
Is PCP Addictive?
PCP is a hallucinogenic drug as well as a dissociative. Initially developed in the 1950s for use as an anesthetic in surgical procedures, PCP was later discontinued for medical purposes in humans in the late 1960s due to its unpredictable effects and potential for misuse.
This potent substance impacts the brain’s neurotransmitter systems, mainly affecting the glutamate receptors. PCP may also affect dopamine in the brain, much like other addictive substances.
By disturbing regular communication between nerve cells, PCP disrupts various brain functions, leading to a diverse array of effects observed in those who use the drug. The disruption of these essential brain functions contributes to the addictive potential of PCP, as people may develop a psychological dependence on the drug’s mind-altering properties and sensations.
PCP is classified by the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its strong potential for abuse and addiction.
PCP Addiction Signs
Understanding the signs of PCP use and addiction can help inform early intervention and effective treatment. Recognizing the indicators that suggest a person has developed an addiction to PCP can streamline the recovery process. Some signs of a PCP addict include:
- Increased tolerance: People may exhibit a growing tolerance to PCP, requiring higher doses to deliver the intended effects.
- Craving and preoccupation: A person addicted to PCP may constantly think about using the drug, experiencing intense cravings and devoting lots of time and effort to obtaining and using the stimulant.
- Neglect of responsibilities: Those struggling with PCP addiction may neglect their work, academic, and familial responsibilities, prioritizing drug use over important obligations and relationships.
- Social withdrawal: Addicted individuals might withdraw from social interactions, isolating themselves from friends, family, and society, preferring the company of other people who use PCP.
- Physical changes: Prolonged PCP addiction can result in noticeable physical changes, including weight loss, deteriorating appearance, and poor personal hygiene.
- Mood swings and behavioral changes: PCP addiction can lead to unpredictable mood swings, heightened aggression, irritability, and emotional instability, straining relationships and leading to conflicts.
- Continued use despite adverse outcomes: Despite experiencing adverse effects on health and relationships, individuals addicted to PCP may persist with drug use, disregarding the negative repercussions.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Attempts to reduce or discontinue PCP use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and intense drug cravings, reinforcing the cycle of addiction.
Symptoms of PCP Addiction
PCP addiction symptoms are delineated in DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as follows:
- A rise in drug dosage requirements owing to an escalating tolerance to PCP.
- Indications of physical dependence through the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms or the need to use PCP to avoid them.
- Persistent cravings or unsuccessful attempts to discontinue PCP usage.
- Excessive time allocated to seeking, consuming, or recovering from the effects of PCP.
- Intense and persistent cravings for PCP.
- Inability to fulfill significant responsibilities due to recurrent PCP use.
- Persistent continuation of PCP use despite ongoing social or interpersonal challenges caused or inflamed by the substance.
- Decreased engagement in essential social, professional, or recreational activities as a result of PCP consumption.
- Repeated exposure to PCP in circumstances involving physical danger.
- Continuous PCP use despite awareness of a physical or psychological condition likely triggered or worsened by the substance.
- Ongoing consumption of PCP despite negative effects on personal relationships.
PCP Addiction Treatment
PCP addiction treatment normally involves a combination of psychological therapies, pharmacological interventions, and peer support groups. Successful treatment for PCP addiction addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of the addiction.
The first step in PCP addiction treatment is often detoxification, during which the individual is monitored and supported as the drug is gradually removed from their system. Medical professionals may administer medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and help the individual safely navigate this critical phase.
CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CM (contingency management) are commonly used to help individuals understand the root causes of their addiction, develop coping strategies, and modify their behaviors and thought patterns. Therapists help people to identify triggers and develop techniques to manage cravings and avoid relapse.
Group therapy and support groups provide individuals with the opportunity to share their experiences, challenges, and successes with others who have struggled with PCP addiction. Support groups offer a sense of community and understanding, which can be instrumental in maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
While there are currently no specific medications approved for the treatment of PCP addiction, certain medications may be prescribed to manage co-occurring mental health disorders or alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, medications may be used to address any underpinning conditions that contribute to the addiction.
Many treatment facilities incorporate holistic therapies like yoga, meditation, and acupuncture to promote overall well-being and help individuals manage stress and anxiety without resorting to substance use.
After completing a formal treatment program, individuals are encouraged to participate in aftercare services, which may include ongoing therapy sessions, regular check-ins, and participation in support groups. Aftercare is crucial for maintaining long-term sobriety and preventing relapse. PCP addiction is a complex condition that requires a personalized and multidisciplinary approach to treatment. By addressing the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction, individuals can work towards long-term recovery and a healthier, drug-free lifestyle.
Get Treatment for PCP Addiction at California Detox
Do you or someone that you care about need PCP addiction treatment in California? If so, we deliver evidence-based treatment for stimulant use disorder at California Detox in Laguna Beach, CA.
Begin your recovery with supervised medical detoxification, taking advantage of medications and continuous care that will reduce the intensity of PCP withdrawal. After a week or so, you can continue with inpatient treatment at our luxury beachside facility.
All treatment programs at California Detox deliver a personalized blend of treatments that may include:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Holistic therapy
When you are ready to reclaim your life from PCP addiction, call 949.694.8305 for immediate assistance.