PCP, or phencyclidine hydrochloride, is a psychoactive drug that has been used as an intravenous anesthetic for only a short time in the 1950s before its horrible side effects such as delirium and hallucinations ended its medical use. It is now manufactured illegally in illegal laboratories and abused for its mind-altering effects. When taken in large doses, it can cause kidney failure, heart arrhythmias and muscle rigidity. It is also psychologically addictive and users quickly build up tolerance, which requires higher and larger doses to achieve the same high.
Users snort or inject the drug in powder form, swallow tablets and capsules, or spray it on leafy material such as marijuana, parsley or mint and smoke it. It can also be dissolved in liquid and sprayed on the inside of a car window to create an effect that mimics acid vision. Its psychoactive and dissociative effects last 4-6 hours.
The drug works by binding to NMDA receptors, which are a type of glutamate receptor involved in pain sensation, emotions and learning. It can also disrupt serotonin signaling, which impacts mood and perception. It can also cause a variety of other side effects, including hallucinations, depression, anxiety and delusions.
The length of time the drug remains in the system depends on how much is used and how often, as well as other factors such as the user’s metabolism rate. A urine test can detect the drug for up to five days after use, while saliva tests can detect it for between 24 and 48 hours. Hair tests can detect the drug for up to 90 days, as drugs and their metabolites are stored in the hair follicles until they are excreted. Detox drinks, cleanse diets and other at-home methods for beating drug tests do not work, as they only mask the presence of the drug for a brief period of time before the body begins to eliminate it.