Angel dust, known formally as phencyclidine (PCP), is a highly potent dissociative drug known for its terrifying psychological effects. While PCP saw some use as an anesthetic in the 1950s, its dangerous side effects halted medical applications, and the drug became popular as a recreational substance. Unfortunately, angel dust poses severe risks of addiction, psychosis, and overdose.
Understanding precisely why people use it and its many dangers gives insight into this hazardous substance plaguing society. But before that, it’s important to first cover the basics – what is angel dust? Let’s explore the background and what makes angel dust one of the most dangerous drugs available today.
What Is Angel Dust and What Are Its Effects?
Angel dust first entered the medical field in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic called Sernyl. However, it was quickly removed from human and veterinary use due to disturbing side effects like delirium and hallucinations. Illicit manufacturers then realized its potential as a recreational drug, synthesizing PCP in labs and distributing it on the streets.
As a dissociative psychedelic, angel dust works by disrupting communication between the neocortex and limbic system in the brain. This leads to feelings of euphoria and sensory detachment, as well as visual and auditory hallucinations.
Users often feel disconnected from their body and environment, causing them to act erratically or become violent. Other common angel dust side effects include numbness, loss of coordination, agitation, paranoia, and increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
These effects make angel dust an incredibly unpredictable and dangerous substance, especially at high doses.
The Dangers and Risks of Angel Dust Use
While PCP intoxication itself is risky, the erratic behavior it causes poses even greater dangers. The detachment from reality, combined with adrenaline surges, can lead people to harm themselves or others while high on angel dust.
According to the DEA, PCP users often become violent against police officers, medical personnel, and others trying to restrain them. Loss of coordination also leads to serious injuries from falls or accidents. High doses additionally cause respiratory issues, seizures, coma, or death.
Beyond acute effects, long-term angel dust use inflicts severe damage on the mind and body. Some dangers include memory loss, speech impairment, depression, psychosis, and kidney damage.
Frequent PCP use often leads to addiction as well. People compulsively seek the drug despite the harm it causes to mental stability, relationships, and health.
What is Angel Dust’s Addiction Potential?
The unpredictability and dangers of PCP make addiction notoriously difficult to overcome alone. But with professional help, recovery is absolutely possible. Rehab centers offer medical detox to safely purge angel dust from the body, as well as therapy, counseling, and aftercare planning.
If you see angel dust destroying someone’s life, avoid judgment or anger. Instead, compassionately encourage them to get help such as by visiting a rehab center. Many former addicts attest that loved ones staging an intervention provided the motivation needed to seek treatment.
What is Angel Dust? Recognizing a Dangerous Drug
This powerful dissociative anesthetic ushered in psychedelia’s dark side in the 1960s, and remains a serious threat today. No dose of angel dust is safe, and its detachment from reality destroys lives. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction, specialized rehab provides real solutions. But for those currently avoiding drugs, educate yourself on PCP’s dangers to steer clear of this dangerous substance.