Angel Dust

What is Angel Dust?

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 vary widely from person to person, ranging from sensory changes to schizophrenic-like behavior to stroke, anxiety, and depression.

According to the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) [1], angel dust is illegal. It 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) [2], An estimated 6 million residents in the US aged 12 and older used PCP or angel dust drug 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.

Angel dust
High doses of angel dust can also cause seizures, coma, and death

Street Names of Angel Dust

Angel dust or PCP drug goes by several street names, such as:

  • Hog
  • Amoeba
  • STP
  • Super Grass
  • Zoom
  • Belladonna
  • Peace Pills
  • Boat
  • Ozone
  • 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.
  • This drug 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 this drug 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 is a mind-altering drug. This means it acts on your brain (central nervous system) and changes your behavior, mood, and the way you relate to the people and situations around you. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) [3], scientists believe it blocks the normal actions of certain brain chemicals.

Angel dust is in a class of drugs called hallucinogens. These are substances that cause hallucinations [4]. 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 that you have superhuman strength and aren’t afraid of anything.

How is Angel Dust Used?

Angel dust or PCP is available in various capsules, tablets, and colored powders, which are either taken orally, smoked or by the intranasal route (“snorted”).

Smoking is the most common way when used recreationally. The liquid form of this drug is PCP base, often dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent.

These drugs are typically 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 depends on how you use it:

  • Shooting up
    • Through a vein, angel dust effects start within 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Smoked
    • The effects of using this drug begin within 2 to 5 minutes, peaking at 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Swallowed
    • 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 Angel Dust Drugs

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.

The use of these 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 the analgesic or pain-killing properties of these drugs, if someone gets seriously injured, that person might not feel pain.

Using 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 angel dust by mouth, may cause heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, muscle rigidity, seizures, or death.

Angel dust
Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self

Signs of Angel Dust Drug 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 a job or family obligations
  • Consumpltion of PCP in situations that are dangerous, such as driving.
  • Development of tolerance (needing more and more to induce the same effects)

Symptoms of Angel Dust Drug Addiction

Many believe PCP or angel dust to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. A moderate amount of this drug 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, a psychosis interchangeable from schizophrenia. Moreover, the common symptoms of angel dust drug addiction may include:

  • Delusions
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Exaggerated Strength
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Numbness
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Feelings of Detachment
  • Memory Loss
  • Physical and Psychological Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Chills
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Extreme Fear or Panic
  • Invulnerability
  • Aggression
  • Rapid Respiration Rate
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • 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.

Symptoms of Angel Dust Overdose

  • 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)
  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Coma

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 Drug Addiction Treatment

The first step in treating angel dust drug withdrawal is to do a 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, it is safer to detox within a medically assisted facility with treatment experts 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 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.

We Level Up NJ 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
Reach out for help at We Level Up NJ


[1] FDA –

[2] DEA –

[3] NIH –

[4] NIDA –

[5] We Level UpPCP Drug Addiction