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Finding Professional PCP Addiction Treatment
Most people have no idea what PCP (Phencyclidine) does to the people who abuse the drug, but they know the results are not going to be good. What people do not know is that back in the 1950s, this drug was first used as an intravenous anesthetic. However, there were significant side effects associated with the use of the drug, including mania, delirium and hallucinations. Parke Davis first discontinued the development for human medical use in the 1960s.
In its most pure form, the drug is a white crystalline powder. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste and can easily dissolve in alcohol or water. However, most of the illicit varieties that people buy on the street contain a number of contaminants. This means that the consistency ranges from a gummy mass to a powdery substance, and colors range from a light to darker brown. It is possible to buy PCP in colored powders, capsules or tablets. The user will either snort the contents of the pill or take the pill orally.
If someone uses the liquid form of PCP, it is combined with a highly flammable solvent – ether. Even though it can be injected, most prefer to smoke PCP, spraying it onto leafy material such as marijuana, oregano, parsley, or mint.
One of the challenges of PCP addiction recovery is the fact that PCP not only functions as a glutamate receptor antagonist, but may also interact with the nicotinic, opioid and dopamine receptors. This means that users might feel even more dependent on the substance than otherwise assumed.
Effects of PCP Use
If a user ingests a moderate amount of PCP, it may make the user feel estranged, distant and detached from their surroundings. A sense of strength and invulnerability may be accompanied by a loss of coordination, slurred speech and numbness of the extremities.
Among the more easily observable effects are an exaggerated gait, rapid and involuntary eye movements and a blank stare. It may also lead to amnesia, severe mood disorders, image distortion and auditory hallucinations.
In some users, the drug can lead to psychoses that are indistinguishable from schizophrenia, violent hostility, paranoia, a feeling of impending doom and acute anxiety. These dangerous mental side effects are just one of the reasons that people consider this one of the most dangerous illicit substances available.
Physiological Effects of PCP
There are a number of physiological effects to PCP use. These include profuse sweating, flushing, respiration that becomes shallow, a drastic increase in pulse rate and blood pressure and a slight increase in breathing rate.
If the user takes higher doses of PCP, there is a drop in respiration, pulse rate and blood pressure. This can be accompanied by dizziness, a loss of balance, drooling, flicking up and down of the eyes, blurred vision, vomiting and nausea. Even higher doses can cause coma, seizures and even death. However, most fatalities during PCP use are attributed to suicide or accidental injury during PCP intoxication.
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What are the Health Risks?
There is a reason that it is imperative to seek out PCP addiction treatment as quickly as possible. Because the use of the drug can lead to compulsive PCP-seeking behavior, craving and psychological dependence. Those who are long-term users report weight loss, depression, difficulties with speech and learning and memory loss. Perhaps even more frightening is that a year after undergoing PCP rehab (meaning after cessation of PCP use) there is still a chance that these symptoms persist.
Because of its sedative effects, it can lead to coma or accidental overdose during interactions with other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol. The primary reason that PCP users have to visit the hospital is because of overdoses on the drug or because of the unpleasant psychological effects
Health Risks from Using PCP
The original goal behind PCP was to ensure that people do not feel pain during medical procedures. It can however lead to a loss in coordination and control. Some of the other problems that may occur include:
- A detached feeling from reality.
- An increasing temperature of the body.
- Problems with convulsions.
- Lead to problems with anxiety and agitation.
- Lead to breathing becoming extremely shallow, a large enough dosage could even cause the lungs to stop working altogether.
- The continuous injection of the drug can lead to issues such as blood clots and abscesses. Sharing equipment also increases the chances of being infected with HIV and hepatitis C and B viruses.
- Because it essentially still functions as a painkiller, those in a psychotic state are often unable to feel pain or discomfort that they inflict upon themselves.
- Many users who abuse the drug become suicidal or violent in a hospital or detention setting. This further emphasizes the need for specific PCP rehab centers that are able to deal with the unique needs of these patients.
Getting Help to Deal with Addiction
For most people who struggle with PCP addiction, finding a quality rehab facility is going to feel overwhelming. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone – whether you are watching someone struggle with a PCP addiction or you yourself are addicted to PCP.
Because there are so many different treatment options for the treatment of PCP addiction, it is important that you do the research beforehand. What type of treatment techniques does a facility support? Are they able to provide scientific evidence to suggest that their method is successful, or is this more of a faith-based treatment option?
Even with long-term abuse of the drug, recovery from PCP addiction is still possible. However, given the dangerous physical and extremely dangerous mental side effects that PCP abuse can cause, it is important to get help as fast as possible. It is important to understand why the drug abuse started in the first place and provide the user with the building blocks that he or she needs to be able to avoid these issues in the immediate future. If you want to change your life for the better, pick up the phone right now and call for more information.