Erowid References Database
Bey T, Patel A.
“Phencyclidine intoxication and adverse effects: a clinical and pharmacological review of an illicit drug”.
Cal J Emerg Med. 2007 Feb 04;8(1):9-14.
Phencyclidine (PCP, “angel dust”) is an infamous hallucinogenic sought for its ability to induce the illusion of euphoria, omnipotence, superhuman strength, and social and sexual prowess. The acronym PCP stems from its organic name 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl) piperidine, which alludes to its relatively simple production from the arylcyclohexylamine piperidine.1, 2
More than 60 designer analogs more toxic than PCP, but able to escape clinical detection, were common before the sale of piperidine and its derivatives became illegal in the United States in 1978. Ketamine is the only one authorized for medical use, and it was often stolen from veterinary offices for its PCP-like effects.3
Like ketamine, PCP was formerly used as a preinduction anesthetic and animal tranquilizer, hence it has street eponyms such as “horse tranquilizer,” hog,” and “elephant”.4, 5 It was prized for its ability to provide anesthesia and analgesia without triggering cardiorespiratory depression, but was soon recalled when patients experienced psychosis, agitation, and dysphoria post-operatively.6
PCP has re-emerged as a drug of abuse in this decade since
its decline after the 1980s. In 1979, 12.8% of twelfth graders
had used PCP, whereas in 1997 only 3.9% had used this drug.1
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