November 8, 2023

PCP Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

image of man representing pcp addiction

PCP addiction can be debilitating, but it is nevertheless treatable. PCP (phencyclidine), is a dissociative anesthetic similar to ketamine and commonly known as angel dust. The drug can trigger hallucinations, delusions, irrationality, and out-of-body experiences.

  • Can you get addicted to PCP?
  • How addictive is PCP?
  • What are PCP side effects and PCP long term effects?
  • How to get help for angel dust addiction today.

Is PCP Addictive?

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Addiction Treatment?

PCP is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration), indicating its high potential for abuse and the possibility of severe psychological or physical dependence.

Prolonged abuse of PCP can result in tolerance and addiction. As tolerance builds, people often find themselves increasing their dosage to deliver the desired effects, escalating the risks of long-term damage and accelerating the development of physical dependence. Reports have linked PCP to inducing psychosis in individuals with schizophrenia. Memory loss is a frequent occurrence, and diminished concentration and disregard for personal boundaries are common byproducts of persistent PCP abuse. Ultimately, abuse of this drug can trigger a complete deterioration of a person’s life.

Signs of PCP Addiction

Developing an awareness of the signs of PCP use and addiction can inform timely intervention and appropriate treatment. Here are some signs that can indicate a person has developed an addiction to PCP:

  • Increased tolerance: One of the first PCP symptoms of abuse is the development of tolerance, with higher doses of PCP required to achieve the initial PCP drug effects. People may consume larger quantities or more potent forms of the drug to replicate the initial high, demonstrating a heightened tolerance to PCP.
  • Craving and preoccupation: Individuals addicted to PCP may constantly think about using the drug. They may experience intense cravings, constantly planning their next dose, and dedicating significant time and effort to obtaining and using PCP.
  • Neglect of responsibilities: A PCP addict may increasingly neglect their responsibilities at work, school, or home. They may show a lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities and may prioritize PCP use over important obligations and relationships.
  • Social withdrawal: Individuals who are addicted to PCP may withdraw from social interactions and isolate themselves from friends, family, and society. They may prefer spending time alone or in the company of other PCP users, avoiding individuals who do not partake in drug use.
  • Physical changes: Prolonged PCP addiction can lead to noticeable physical changes, including weight loss, deterioration in physical appearance, and a decline in personal hygiene. People using the drug may exhibit a disheveled and unkempt appearance, reflecting their neglect of self-care and well-being.
  • Mood swings and behavioral changes: PCP addiction can trigger unpredictable mood swings, leading to sudden changes in behavior and personality. Heightened aggression, irritability, or emotional instability can manifest, strain relationships, and lead to conflicts with others.
  • Continued use despite negative consequences: Despite experiencing adverse effects on their health, relationships, and overall well-being, individuals addicted to PCP may continue to use the drug compulsively. They may disregard the negative repercussions of their addiction, persisting with PCP use despite facing legal, financial, or interpersonal challenges.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When attempts are made to moderate or discontinue PCP use, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms. PCP symptoms associated with withdrawal include anxiety, depression, insomnia, and intense drug cravings. These symptoms can reinforce the cycle of addiction, compelling people to resume PCP use to alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal.
image representing pcp addiction symptoms

Symptoms of PCP Addiction

PCP addiction symptoms are outlined in DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as follows:

  1. Increased drug dosage is required due to a growing tolerance to PCP.
  2. Physical reliance on the substance is indicated by the presence of withdrawal symptoms or the need to use PCP to avoid them.
  3. The presence of an enduring urge or unsuccessful attempts to quit PCP usage.
  4. Excessive time is spent seeking, using, or recuperating from the effects of PCP.
  5. Strong cravings for PCP present.
  6. Failure to meet significant responsibilities due to recurrent PCP use.
  7. Despite facing persistent social or interpersonal issues intensified by PCP, the individual continues its usage.
  8. PCP consumption leads to the reduction or abandonment of vital social, professional, or recreational activities.
  9. Repeated exposure to PCP in circumstances that pose a physical danger.
  10. Continual use of PCP despite awareness of a persistent physical or psychological condition likely caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  11. Ongoing use of PCP even though it is causing problems in personal relationships.

Treatment for PCP Addiction

PCP addiction treatment typically involves a combination of therapy, support groups, and medical interventions tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Here are some common treatment approaches used:

Detoxification

The first step in treating PCP addiction often involves medically supervised detoxification to manage withdrawal symptoms. This process helps to rid the body of the drug while minimizing the physical and psychological discomfort associated with PCP withdrawal.

Behavioral therapy

Various forms of behavioral therapy, such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CM (contingency management), can help people recognize and modify destructive thought patterns and behaviors associated with PCP addiction. These therapies can also assist in developing coping mechanisms to prevent relapse.

Support groups

Participating in support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide individuals with a supportive community of peers who understand the challenges of addiction. Support groups offer a platform for sharing experiences, gaining encouragement, and receiving guidance from others on the path to recovery.

MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings during the recovery process. While there are no specific medications approved by the FDA for treating PCP addiction, certain medications may be used to alleviate associated symptoms and support overall recovery efforts.

Dual diagnosis treatment

For individuals with co-occurring mental health conditions, dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the addiction and the underlying psychological issues. This integrated approach aims to provide comprehensive care that targets all aspects of the person’s well-being.

Aftercare planning

Developing a comprehensive aftercare plan is essential for maintaining long-term recovery from PCP addiction. This plan may include ongoing therapy, regular check-ins with healthcare providers, participation in support groups, and the implementation of healthy coping strategies to prevent relapse.

Family therapy

Involving family members in the treatment process can be beneficial, as it fosters a supportive and understanding environment for the individual in recovery. Family therapy sessions can help improve communication, rebuild trust, and strengthen familial relationships, which are essential for maintaining sobriety.

Holistic therapies

Incorporating holistic approaches like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness techniques can promote overall well-being and aid in stress management. These practices encourage self-awareness and emotional regulation, helping individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their overall quality of life.

What can you do if you need help for yourself or a loved one right away, though?

An image of a woman using addiction hotline's to find pcp addiction treatment

Call Addiction Hotlines Today for Help with PCP Addiction

Please reach out to our 24/7 addiction hotlines for immediate help with PCP addiction.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with PCP addiction, reaching out for assistance is paramount. Our around-the-clock substance abuse helpline ensures that you have access to the support and direction you need to begin your journey toward addiction recovery.

Our committed and passionate staff can connect you with resources, support groups, healthcare providers that treat addictions, and drug rehab centers in California that specialize in treating PCP addiction.

Call 855-701-0479 any time of day or light. You are never alone.

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