PCP is a strong hallucinogenic drug that alters reality. Worryingly, many users have experienced psychotic episodes while under its influence.

The effects can give you long-term psychological trauma


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What is it?

PCP is a potent hallucinogenic drug. It comes in liquid, crystal, pill or powder form. It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected.

PCP was first made in the 1950s as an animal anaesthetic, and made its presence on the drugs scene in Los Angeles in the 1970s.

PCP is still in use in the States, although it is rare in the UK.

How does it make you feel?

On the good side PCP makes you dreamy. You can get pleasant, floaty, trippy visions. Time and space become irrelevant and confused, just like they are in dreams (and nightmares).

PCP is famous for giving bad trips. Even in low doses, PCP can be a real freak out and like other hallucinogenic drugs, it can make you paranoid and anxious. But it seems to lead to frightening visions more often and worse still, it is quite common for people to have violent outbursts, attempt suicide or self mutilate on a bad trip.

What are the health effects?

The main health problems with this drug are to do with its potential to give you a bad trip. The effects can give you long-term psychological trauma especially if you are depressed or worried before you use it.

This is the classic 'think you can fly' drug. People on PCP have been known to leap to their deaths.

The law

PCP is an illegal Class A drug. It carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment for possession and up to life in prison for supply.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


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