Approximately 122,000 people have admitted to using PCP in the past year.
Over 6 million people have ever admitted to using PCP in their lifetimes.
1.1 million people each year use hallucinogens for the first time.
PPhencyclidine, more commonly known as PCP or angel dust, is a dissociative drug. Originally marketed as an anesthetic, it was taken off the market only a few years later, in 1965, due to the strong dissociative and hallucinogenic effects. It gained popularity as a recreational drug during the 1960s and 1970s, however fell from the headlines by 1990. In recent years, the number of people, ages 25 to 34, who use PCP has increased by approximately 500 percent from 2005 to 2011, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network. It is classified as a Schedule II drug in the United States, and is a member of the family of dissociative anesthetics. As an addictive substance, it is associated with compulsive use.
The withdrawal symptoms from PCP can be as diverse as the effects of the drug. The higher the quantity and the longer the drug was used increases the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, anyone who mixes PCP with other drugs, or who is using or addicted to other substances may have more significant withdrawals. Common withdrawal symptoms include flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, lack of impulse control, weight loss and confusion. Detoxing off PCP is dangerous and best done in a medical setting, such as a detox center.
There are a few reasons PCP is especially easy to overdose on. First, it is an illegal drug and an uncommon drug and as such the dose of what you are actually getting is unknown. The actual dose of what you are getting is notoriously difficult to predict. Second, people who use PCP quickly develop a tolerance, which means an increasingly large amount necessary to achieve the desired result. Overdose can occur quickly. If you suspect someone has overdosed on PCP, contact emergency medical services immediately. An overdose of PCP could easily equal death. Symptoms of this include: fever, coma, breathing problems, seizure, high blood pressure, numbness, dizziness, drooling, muscle stiffness and death.
Inpatient treatment centers offer the best treatment for the disease of addiction. These intensive and comprehensive residential programs provide different forms of therapy, including individual, group and family therapy. Individual therapy is typically in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT. With CBT people learn to identify negative belief structures and thought patterns and replace them with healthier, more positive ones. Group therapy further helps identify the underlying causes of the addiction and properly addresses these issues. Family therapy helps heal the entire family unit and educates everyone about the disease of addiction. With inpatient treatment, 24-hour a day supervision and support works to ensure that everyone has the help they need to overcome their addiction.
Many people follow inpatient treatment with an outpatient program, while others only attend an outpatient program. Outpatient treatment is best for people who have already fully detoxed and stabilized. Outpatient is a less intensive version of some of the same therapeutic approaches used in inpatient treatment, such as individual and group therapy sessions. Everyone is educated about the disease of addiction and encouraged to identify the underlying issues that lead to using. These non-residential and part-time programs allow people to continue attending school or work. People continue to live at home and travel several times a week to the treatment facility. Often, program participants are encouraged or required to attend regular 12-step meetings as a part of the outpatient program.
Millions of people have overcome addiction and found a better way to live with the help of the 12-steps and programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. 12-step programs were the first to successfully address the problem of addiction. Sponsorship and working the 12-steps of recovery are at the core of these programs. Everyone is encouraged to attend meetings regularly and to get involved with others in the program. Surrounding yourself with others who are sober and practice healthy living is crucial to continuous recovery. Anyone with a desire to stop using is welcome at any meeting. If you are struggling with substance abuse, find a meeting in your area today and get connected.
PCP was inadvertently discovered by Victor Maddox, a chemist researching synthetic analgesic compounds. The drug was thought to have potential as a painkiller and by the 1950’s was released on the market as an experimental drug named Sernyl. By 1965, however, the drug was taken off the market due to the severity of such side effects as hallucinations, mania and delirium. In the 1960s and 1970s the drug gained popularity for recreational use. By the late 70s PCP was thought to be the biggest drug problem in the United States by some people. By the 1990s, use of the drug had dropped dramatically in response to the media’s effort to educate the public about the potential health hazards of using the drug. Recently, unfortunately, a new generation has grown up oblivious to the serious concern surrounding this drug and use of it is back on the rise.
If you suspect someone you know has a PCP addiction, it is incredibly important to arrange an intervention as soon as possible. Not only is it often fatal, it has significant long term effects, even if someone stops taking the drug. These include weight loss, depression, difficulty speaking, memory loss and confusion. Denial is strongly associated with any addiction, causing the person to honestly not see how destructive his or her using has become. People who are caught in the grip of addiction will often not see how others are affected by their using, regardless of how obvious it may seem to those on the outside. Staging an intervention is the best way to get your loved one headed in the right direction. An intervention is simply a conversation where the person is confronted about his or her drug use and subsequent behavior. Professional interventionist can also help plan, prepare for and conduct the event. Staging an intervention could mean the difference between life and death for your loved one.
The most difficult step for many people is admitting that they have a problem with drugs. Those who have come to this conclusion and decided to find addiction treatment have accomplished more than many. Tragically, some people are pulled back into the life of using by others who have not decided to stop using. Old using buddies, enablers and dealers often prove to negatively influence people recovery in these critical early days. To avoid such negative influences, and to give yourself the best chance possible, experts recommend travelling for treatment. By finding a treatment center located away from familiar people and places, you give your recovery a better chance of success. As an added benefit, when you travel for inpatient rehab, you can choose to go anywhere. Why not enjoy the scenery and weather while you work on yourself?
Family therapy is a crucial component of addiction rehabilitation. When one person becomes addicted everyone in the family suffers. Addiction education is a cornerstone of family therapy. All family members learn about the disease of addiction, its neurobiological processes and how they impact behavior. Previously, it was believed that using was a choice, however we now know that for the person who is addicted, using is more important than life itself. The drugs actually alter the brain in such a way as to assert itself above survival. Once it is understood that the family member was not morally deficient but in fact suffering from an illness, progress can be made to mend past issues. Family therapy sessions allow all members to address occurrences from the past and work through them. Everyone is taught coping mechanisms and communication techniques to further improve the functioning of the family unit. With help, everyone can heal and move forward
Group therapy is a cornerstone of addiction treatment programs. Group therapy intrinsically combats some of the more difficult aspects of addiction, such as isolation. Many people used in isolation or were distant from others by hiding what or how much they were using. In group therapy everyone relearns how to be open, honest and support others, which makes this therapeutic method a natural ally of addiction treatment. There are several different types of groups, such as educational and experiential groups. Educational groups focus on the disease of addiction and all relevant other topics. For example, co-occurring disorders is an issue for many people, as well as relationship issues, spirituality, life skills, and many others. Experiential groups allow all members to give and receive advice, giving each person the benefit of others experience and helping everyone get to know the others on an intimate level. Through group therapy, members form strong bonds, and gain affiliation support, identification, and gratification. These groups are conducted with an atmosphere of brotherly love and mutual peer respect, which tends to result in supportive, life-long friendships.