Angel Dust Drug? What is PCP Drug? PCP Effects, Angel Dust Drugs Hazards, & Treatment
Phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP or “angel dust,” is sold illegally in many forms, including powder, crystal, tablet, capsule, and liquid. Most often, it is smoked in combination with marijuana or tobacco. Continue to read more about angel dust drugs.
By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: January 17, 2023
Angel Dust Drug. What is PCP Drug?
Phencyclidine (PCP), commonly known as angel dust is a hallucinogenic substance that affects the brain in many ways. It is a white crystal powder, smoked as “fry,” or marijuana cigarettes laced with angel dust drug. The effects of angel dust are unpredictable, and the side effects of angel dust drugs may vary widely from person to person, ranging from sensory changes to schizophrenic-like behavior to stroke, anxiety, and depression.
What is angel dust or what is PCP drug? According to the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) , angel dust is illegal. Angel dust is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and meth, have a high potential for abuse. Given that, abuse of these drugs may lead to severe mental or physical dependence.
People of all ages use angel dust drugs. According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) , An estimated 6 million residents in the US aged 12 and older used PCP or angel dust drugs at least once in their lifetime. The report also revealed that many adolescents and young adults use this drug, around 225,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 and 777,000 individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.
Why is PCP Called Angel Dust?
Phencyclidine is called PCP or sometimes referred to “angel dust” drugs. The drug angel dust is termed angel dust in part due to its popular powder form. But its effects on people are anything but heavenly. PCP can produce a variety of effects on users, including psychotic symptoms. PCP can be extremely dangerous. Aside from the severe side effects of the angel dust drug the user is likely to experience, as well as the alarming risk of self-injury. High doses of PCP may cause death.
What Is Angel Dust Made Out Of?
Originally developed in the 1950s as a surgical anesthetic, the drug angel dust was soon discontinued after it was found to cause agitation and mania, hallucinations, and irrational thinking in patients following its use. In 1979, the legal manufacturing of PCP in the United States (U.S.) was suspended. It is made illegally in secret laboratories, along with dozens of analogs (chemically similar drugs) on the street. It is thought to be made primarily in the United States (U.S.), mainly in Southern California, but it is distributed across the country.
Individuals who abuse the drug angel dust or PCP and develop phencyclidine use disorder may be at increased risk for certain further mental health disorders. In clinical terms, people who have more than one disorder at the same time are said to be experiencing dual diagnosis. PCP addiction has been associated with the following conditions:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Other substance use disorders
Many people who seek professional care for PCP addiction don’t realize they are also struggling with another disorder. This is why it can be crucial to select a center that can determine the full scope of your needs, and provide dual diagnosis programming if required. Without effective care to address your dual diagnosis, you may find it extremely difficult to achieve and maintain long-term recovery from PCP addiction.
- What Is Angel Dust Drug?
- What Is Angel Dust Made Out Of?
- The Drug Angel Dust Statistics
- “PCP” Drug Angel Dust Facts
- Street Names of Angel Dust Drug
- Risk Factors in Using Angel Dust Drug
- Angel Dust Drugs Effects on the Brain
- How is Angel Dust Used?
- Angel Dust Addiction
- Symptoms of Angel Dust Drug Addiction
- Angel Dust Drug Overdose
- Angel Dust Withdrawal
- Angel Dust Drug Addiction Treatment
- 5 Most Angel Dust Frequently Asked Questions
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Angel Dust Drug / PCP Drug Statistics
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, angel dust drugs or PCP drugs are known to cause hallucinations similar to MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy) and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), but unlike those drugs, PCP can lead to hostile behavior that may result in episodes of extreme violence.
PCP’s angel dust drugs users often feel detached or distant from their environment and can experience distorted sights and sounds. Severe symptoms of PCP use can include irregular breathing, seizures, and coma. Furthermore, angel dust drugs users can become addicted to PCP and experience anxiety and suicidal ideation. Individuals experiencing negative health effects after using PCP may seek treatment or be brought by law enforcement to the ED for immediate care.
6.3 million persons (2.4%) aged 12 or older have used PCP in their lifetime.
18 to 25
Almost 1% of people ages 18 to 25 have reported using PCP at some point in their lives.
Approximately 7 out of 10 (72%) PCP-related visits involved other drugs combined with PCP.
PCP Drug / Angel Dust Drug Facts
What is PCP Drug?
PCP (Phencyclidine) is a dissociative drug developed as an intravenous anesthetic has been discontinued due to serious adverse effects. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality.
PCP Street Names and Angel Dust Drug Slang
Angel Dust, Boat, Hog, Love Boat, Peace Pill, Angel Mist
What is PCP on a Drug Test?
PCP is not typically tested for on a standard drug test.
What Drug is Angel Dust Fact Sheet by DEA
PCP is an addictive drug; its use often results in psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive behavior. PCP produces unpleasant psychological effects, and users often become violent or suicidal.
DEA Schedule / Legal Status: Schedule I, II / Illegal
Common Forms: White or colored powder, tablet, or capsule; clear liquid
Common Ways Taken: Injected, snorted, ingested, smoked (powder added to mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana)
Common Commercial Names: No commercial uses
Medications: There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to PCP or other dissociative drugs. Searched for “whats angel dust drug wiki?” Download below facts sheet provided by the DEA.
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Street Names of Angel Dust Drug
The drug Angel dust or PCP drug goes by several street names, such as:
- Super Grass
- Peace Pills
- Animal Trank
- Sherm Sticks
- Embalming Fluid
Risk Factors in Using Angel Dust Drug
- Angel dust drug is an addictive substance because its use often results in craving, psychological dependence, and compulsive behavior. In addition, using angel dust drugs results in an unpleasant psychological effect, and individuals often become violent or suicidal.
- The drug angel dust poses particular risks for young adults. Even moderate consumption of this drug can negatively impact the hormones associated with average growth and development. Moreover, the use of this drug can impede the learning process.
- High doses of the drug angel dust can induce seizures, coma, and even death (often because of accidental injury or suicide while under the drug’s effects). And then, at high doses, angel dust’s effects may be similar to the symptoms linked to schizophrenia, including delusions and paranoia.
- Long-term use of this drug can lead to memory loss, difficulty with speech or thought weight loss, and depression. Unfortunately, these problems can continue for up to a year after an individual has stopped using the drug.
Angel Dust Drugs Effects on the Brain
Angel dust drugs are mind-altering chemicals. This means angel dust drugs act on the brain (central nervous system) and change behavior, mood, and the way users relate to the people and situations around them. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) , scientists believe angel dust drugs block the normal actions of certain brain chemicals.
Angel dust drugs are in a class of drugs called hallucinogens. These are substances that cause hallucinations . These are things that you hear, see, or feel while awake that appear to be real but instead have been created by the mind.
Angel dust or PCP is also known as a dissociative drug. It causes the person using the drug to feel separated from the body and surroundings. Using this drug may make you feel:
- You are floating and disconnected from reality.
- Euphoria, or rush, and less inhibition, similar to being drunk on alcohol.
- Your sense of thinking is very clear, and you have superhuman strength and aren’t afraid of anything.
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How is PCP Used?
Searching for “what is PCP drug?” and “PCP use”, then continue reading. Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a recreational drug known by a variety of street names including Angel Dust, Hog, and Love Boat. It is a tranquilizer that can cause hallucinogenic, stimulant, and depressant effects. It is dangerous and can lead to long-term physical and psychological issues.
Angel dust drugs or PCP are available in various capsules, tablets, and colored powders, which are either taken orally, smoked or snorted (intranasal route).
Angel dust drugs are most commonly smoked when used recreationally. The liquid form of this angel dust drugs are its PCP base. The drug angel dust or PCP is often dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent.
Typically angel dust drugs are sprayed onto leafy material such as parsley, mint, oregano, or marijuana for smoking. PCP may also be injected.
How fast you feel the effects of angel dust drugs will depend on how you use it:
- Shooting up
- Through a vein, angel dust drugs effects start within 2 to 5 minutes.
- Smoking PCP
- When smoking PCP, The effects of using this drug begin within 2 to 5 minutes, peaking at 15 to 30 minutes.
- PCP ingestion – Eating PCP (swallowing)
- PCP ingestion is another method of how PCP is used. You may ask how is PCP ingested. PCP is typically mixed with food or drinks or in pill form, angel dust’s effects usually begin within 30 minutes. The effects tend to peak in about 2 to 5 hours.
Harmful Effects of PCP (most common PCP drug signs and symptoms)
- Low to moderate use or doses can cause numbness throughout the body and loss of coordination.
- Large doses can cause someone to be very suspicious and not trust others. The person might even hear voices that are not there. As a result, the person may act strangely or become aggressive and violent.
- Angel dust drugs can increase blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rate. At high doses, angel dust can have an opposite and dangerous effect on these functions.
- Because of angel dust drugs’ analgesic or pain-killing properties, if someone gets seriously injured, that person might not feel pain.
- Using the drug angel dust for a long time can cause memory loss, thinking problems, and problems talking clearly, such as stuttering or slurring words.
- Mood problems, such as anxiety or depression, can develop. This may lead to suicide attempts.
- A very large dose, usually from taking the drug angel dust orally or by mouth, may cause heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, muscle rigidity, seizures, or even death.
Side Effects of Angel Dust – Side Effects of PCP
The potential side effects of PCP include impaired coordination and judgment, confusion, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, slurred speech, violent behavior, increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest pain, and coma. Long-term side effects can include memory problems, persistent speech difficulties, depression, paranoia, and weight loss.
How does PCP make you feel? Angel dust is an anesthetic and painkiller, which means that it can produce dreamlike and ‘floaty’ or numb feelings.
Angel dust can change your mood and feelings in ways you don’t expect.
PCP has a number of side effects:
- It can change how you see reality. You can have hallucinations and see and hear things that aren’t there.
- How you experience time may change; time may speed up or slow down.
- It might make you feel really happy and upbeat.
- It might make you feel very down, panicky, and paranoid.
- You may believe things that aren’t true.
- Some people become more aggressive and violent.
How does angel dust make people behave? Taking angel dust can lead to a severe psychotic state. This is a mental condition that stops you from thinking, telling the difference between reality and your imagination, and acting in a normal way. These states are temporary.
Effects of PCP On The Brain
The effects of PCP on the brain can be very serious and long-lasting. It interferes with neurotransmitters and dopamine levels, making it especially dangerous for people with existing psychiatric conditions.
Short-Term Effects of PCP
Short-term effects of PCP include feelings of exhilaration, loss of coordination, numbness, impaired judgment, hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, aggression, impaired speech and comprehension, increased reaction time, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. In some cases there are also convulsions, unconsciousness, and coma.
Long-Term Effects of PCP Use
Long-term effects of PCP use can include memory problems, persistent speech difficulties, depression, paranoia, and weight loss. Other possible effects include muscle rigidity, tremors, and seizures. Additionally, long-term PCP use may increase the risk of developing serious mental health conditions like psychosis.
How Long Do The Effects of PCP Last?
The effects of PCP typically last anywhere from 6-24 hours, depending on the dose, individual’s metabolism, and body size.
What are the Physical Effects of PCP Use?
The physical effects of PCP can include confusion, disorientation, increased blood pressure, changes in heart rate, increased sweating and muscle tension, numbness, and dizziness. In extreme cases, PCP may cause a person to experience seizures, comas, or death.
Angel Dust Drug Overdose
Its effects can start within 5 minutes after first use. After that, it can take a bit longer, but its impact will take hold within just an hour or so. While the effects may have a rapid onset, they are known to last for several hours. And, if the dose is high enough, the results can last upwards of two days. Therefore, an overdose on this drug is potentially life-threatening.
Large doses of this drug bring powerful dissociation because this can range from mood swings to suicidal behavior or paranoia to outright insanity. Not only does the individual no longer act like themselves, but they no longer have a concept of self.
PCP Drug Signs and Symptoms of Angel Dust Overdose
Signs and symptoms of a PCP overdose include severe agitation, slowed or irregular heart rate, dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, convulsions, vomiting, and coma. In some cases, an overdose can be fatal. Most typical PCP drug signs and symptoms of an angel dust overdose include:
- Agitation (overly excited, violent behavior)
- Altered state of consciousness
- Side-to-side eye movements
- Psychosis (loss of contact with reality)
- Uncontrolled movement
- Lack of coordination
- Catatonic trance (the person does not talk, move, or react)
- High blood pressure
Angel Dust Death
In high doses, PCP can cause life-threatening side effects. Overdosing on PCP can cause severe depression, memory loss, problems speaking, kidney failure, high body temperature, and muscle contractions. People who repeatedly use PCP despite experiencing overdose symptoms could be addicted to the drug. They may no longer be using the drug to get high. Using PCP to cope with cravings and avoid withdrawal are addiction symptoms.
PCP begins to cause symptoms at a dose of 0.05mg/kg, and a dose of 20 mg or more can cause seizures, coma, and death. The liver mainly metabolizes it, and 10% is excreted in the kidneys. Inhalation (the most common route of administration) and intravenous routes produce symptoms in 2 to 5 minutes.
Oral ingestion produces symptoms in 30 to 60 minutes. The half-life is estimated to be 21 hours, but symptoms can last from several hours up to 48 hours, depending on the dose. Recurrent, fluctuating symptoms can occur because PCP is fat-soluble and can be released from lipid stores and adipose tissue can occur days to months after the initial use.
Angel Dust Withdrawal
Once someone becomes dependent on or addicted to this drug and then suddenly stops, they will continue having painful withdrawal symptoms. Consequently, somebody suffering from angel dust use disorders suffers increased appetite, confusion, depression, and increased cravings for the drug. In addition, psychotic symptoms like paranoia may also develop and be difficult to stop.
That is why drug abuse treatment is necessary for curbing cravings and side effects. People struggling with substance use disorder should consider inpatient treatment because it provides a safe environment for supervised recovery and healing. Most importantly, there are medications people in rehab have access to, which make withdrawal less uncomfortable.
Angel Dust Addiction / PCP Addiction
Is angel dust addictive? Yes, angel dust is addictive. PCP addiction usually starts when a person experiments with this illicit drug. They become drawn to its side effects and want to experience them continuously. However, like many other drugs, the body eventually builds tolerance or becomes used to a certain dose of PCP. When this happens, the individual would need to take more of it to experience the same side effects. Over time, the body adapts to ingesting angel dust regularly, making quitting difficult.
Signs of PCP Addiction
For a person actively using this drug, signs of dependence may include:
- An increased need for frequency or amount of angel dust to achieve the desired effect
- Failed attempts to decrease or eliminate the use of this drug
- Failure to maintain daily life expectations such as job or family obligations
- Consumption of PCP in dangerous situations, such as driving.
- Development of tolerance (needing more and more to induce the same effects)
Is PCP Addictive?
PCP is very addictive. It has an extremely high potential for abuse and addiction due to its devastating psychological and physical effects, including amnesia, delusions, and violent behavior. It is also associated with an increased risk of relapse.
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Symptoms of Angel Dust Drug Addiction
Many believe PCP angel dust drugs to be one of the most dangerous drugs to abuse. Even a moderate amount angel dust drugs often causes users to feel distant, detached, and estranged from their environment. Because of the altered states of consciousness, most users can become dependent on the drug.
In addition, angel dust has sedative effects, and interactions with other central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines, and alcohol, may lead to coma or accidental overdose. Consequently, many angel dust users are brought to emergency rooms because of the drug’s unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdoses.
Someone may use angel dust and become aggressive, while someone else may become overly anxious or empathetic. A blank stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements and an exaggerated motion are among the more observable effects. It may also include acute anxiety and a feeling of impending doom, violent hostility, paranoia, and a psychosis interchangeable with schizophrenia. Moreover, the common symptoms of angel dust drug addiction may include:
- Exaggerated Strength
- Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Feelings of Detachment
- Memory Loss
- Physical and Psychological Distress
- Muscle Cramps
- Loss of Coordination
- Extreme Fear or Panic
- Rapid Respiration Rate
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Angel Dust Addiction Treatment
The first step in treating angel dust drug withdrawal is to detox from the substance. During detox, individuals slowly taper off their dose over time until they are no longer dependent on the substance. Some withdrawal treatment programs may also provide longer-acting and less powerful medications for people with severe angel dust drug addiction.
This will help reduce withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable. Most importantly, detoxing within a medically assisted facility with treatment experts is safer because the medical staff can monitor the client during detox and intervene if any withdrawal symptoms become life-threatening.
Once detox is complete, treatment usually continues in an inpatient setting, depending on the client’s needs. Treatment in an inpatient will give the client their best chance at a successful recovery. In addition, these programs can help with the detox process, making it both safer and more comfortable. They’ll also teach the skills necessary to remain sober during recovery.
To ensure the success of clients seeking recovery in a drug abuse treatment center, they provide the safest medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to those who are good candidates. In addition, we ensure close medical observation throughout the length of treatment. We also offer a selection of alternative and holistic therapies to assist those that are not good candidates or opt out of MAT.
Find the Right PCP Drug Treatment Plan at We Level Up NJ
The key to any drug addiction treatment is it should be individualized to fit the unique needs of each person in treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone in recovery. A high-quality program will understand this and tailor treatment programs accordingly.
The We Level Up NJ addiction treatment center provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery from angel dust abuse and addiction through our medically-assisted Detox Program. So, reclaim your life, call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
Angel Dust / PCP Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Can you overdose on PCP?
A person who has overdosed on PCP is not only dangerous to themselves but to others as well. Psychosis, uncontrolled movement, an altered state of consciousness, and violent behavior are all possible symptoms of a PCP overdose.
What does angel dust do?
Angel dust (PCP) is a dissociative drug that distorts one’s sense of sight, smell, sound, self, and surroundings.
What drug is angel dust?
“Angel Dust,” PCP (Phencyclidine) is a hallucinogenic or dissociative drug that’s often abused for its ability to produce a delusional and mind-altering high.
What does angel dust do to you?
Angel dust is a mind-altering drug. This means it acts on your brain (central nervous system) and changes your behavior, mood, and how you relate to the people and situations around you.
Is angel dust cocaine?
No. However, the pharmacologic effects of PCP are similar to those of cocaine. PCP acts as a hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, and anesthetic all at the same time.
Search We Level Up NJ Angel Dust Drug Detox & Mental Health Topics & Resources
 QuikStrip One Step Phencyclidine (PCP) Test – U.S. Food and Drug Administration
 PCP Fast Facts – United States Drug Enforcement Administration
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. [Table], PCP (Phencyclidine) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424847/table/appd.t13/
 Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs Research Report – National Institute on Drug Abuse/ NIDA
 Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts – National Institute on Drug Abuse
 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
 McKay JR. Impact of Continuing Care on Recovery From Substance Use Disorder. Alcohol Res. 2021 Jan 21;41(1):01. DOI: 10.35946 PMID: 33500871; PMCID: PMC7813220.
 Fluyau D, Charlton TE. Drug Addiction. [Updated 2022 Aug 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549783/
 Justinova Z, Panlilio LV, Goldberg SR. Drug addiction. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2009;1:309-46. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-88955-7_13. PMID: 21104390; PMCID: PMC3039293.