What Are the Side Effects of Angel Dust?

What is Angel Dust?

“Angel dust” is a slang term for phencyclidine (PCP), a Schedule II hallucinogenic drug. Hallucinogens are used to alter one’s mood, sensory perception, and thought patterns. Some other names for this illegal psychedelic include elephant tranquilizer, embalming fluid, hog, ozone, and wack. It was originally created in the 1950s as a surgical anesthetic, but was soon discontinued after researchers and health professionals discovered that it caused hallucinations. Today, angel dust is primarily manufactured in the United States, specifically in California. PCP is produced, sold, and consumed illegally and individuals can be imprisoned for carrying it.

This drug comes in the form of a white, crystalline, bitter-tasting powder that quickly dissolves in water and alcohol. In some cases, it is available in capsule or tablet form. PCP may be sprayed on mint, marijuana, and parsley leaves or laced into marijuana joints. Users will typically either smoke, snort, swallow, or inject angel dust.

 

Side Effects of Using PCP

PCP works by affecting multiple neurotransmitters in the brain. It allows the brain to disconnect from normally sensory experiences and create an entirely unique experience. People may use this drug to feel calm, a sense of euphoria, or psychedelic effects.

Side effects vary based on how much angel dust a person consumes. While some effects are desirable and can even be considered positive, others are unwanted and potentially dangerous. Common side effects of angel dust may include:

  • Euphoria
  • Sound or image distortion
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Loss of balance
  • Inability to feel pain
  • Loss of bodily sensation
  • Acute anxiety
  • Agitation and mood swings
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Numbness in the arms and legs
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Lack of movement
  • Combativeness or aggression
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Drooling

A majority of individuals who use angel dust or PCP will likely feel one or multiple of the above side effects at some point. Those side effects will typically go away over time and typically do not require any medical attention. The following symptoms, however, are slightly more rare.

  • Rigid muscles
  • Delusions
  • Amnesia
  • Memory loss
  • Chills and sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Reduced breathing rate
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting

When taken in high doses, angel dust can also cause seizures, damage to the skeletal muscles, coma, and even death. These effects are just some of the things that taking PCP may lead to. If someone uses this drug heavily or for an extended period of time, they may be at risk for even more health complications and concerns down the line.

 

PCP Risks and Warnings

Angel dust is known to result in bizarre, dangerous, and even violent behavior. It is important for everyone that uses PCP to be monitored by someone who is not using the substance. PCP also comes with a very high potential for abuse and dependence. After someone begins to use this drug regularly, it is likely that they will develop a tolerance and form an addiction.

Even though PCP can be dangerous, individuals should not stop taking it suddenly. Suddenly stopping the use of angel dust will lead to extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. If you use angel dust and are considering stopping, talk to your doctor or another treatment professional first. They will create a plan that will help you taper off the drug without intense withdrawal effects.

 

Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery

Hospitalization is often needed to help people stop using angel dust. Once someone receives medical attention, they can focus on moving on from their dependence and developing tools to set them up for a successful recovery. Treatment options for PCP abuse may include medications, one-on-one therapy, group support, education, and more.

To learn more about PCP, or ‘angel dust,’ and its side effects, contact our team of substance abuse treatment representatives by calling 866-345-2147.