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Drug Information

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PCP tablets. Source: DEA

PCP in foil wrappers. Source: DEA


Commercial and Street Names for PCP

Phencyclidine, Angel dust, elephant, hog, rocket fuel (killer weed, supergrass:PCP mixed with marijuana). The DEA has a longer list of street terms for PCP.

Description of PCP

PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. Available in tablets, capsules, liquids, crystals, pastes, and coloured powders. Frequently passed off as LSD or other drugs. Snorted, smoked, or eaten. When smoked, PCP is often used with a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, tobacco or marijuana. PCP may be used unknowingly since it is often used as an additive in other drugs.

Effects of PCP

PCP is a “dissociative drug,” meaning it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. Most first-time users experience a “bad trip” and stop. Low dose effects include shallow breathing, flushing, and profuse sweating. High dose effects are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. Speech is often sparse and garbled. Accidental death can result from drug-induced confusion. Long-term effects include addiction, memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. Symptoms can persist up to a year after cessation of PCP use. Mood disorders also have been reported. Flashbacks may occur (see LSD section).

Sources: DEA; NIDA InfoFacts, PCP, May 2006

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Angel dust in four American cities: An ethnographic study of PCP users (Services Research report) (1980) Harvey W Feldman


Angel Dust: New Facts about PCP (1997) Lisa Turney

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on PCP Dependence: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age (2002) Icon Health Publications

PCP – Angel Dust: Number One Teen Killer (1986) Anne D’Arcy Jorgensen

PCP: High Risk on the Streets (1998) Jennifer Croft


PCP (Drug Education Library) (2005) Hal Marcovitz (Hardcover – Sep 9, 2005)


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General Information on PCP-Angel Dust

Phencyclidine (August 2007) Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Impaired Driving and PCP-Angel Dust

Phencyclidine – Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets (April 2004) is a detailed fact sheet on effects of PCP, particularly on performance and driving. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Research and PCP-Angel Dust

PCP Trends by Metropolitan Areas in Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), 1994-2001 (2002) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Trends in Admissions for PCP:1993-2003 (October 2005) shows that admissions for treatment for PCP abuse have remained constant at about 0.2 percent of all admissions. Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS).

For additional research on PCP refer to the Ecstasy, Other Club Drugs, & Other Hallucinogens section provided by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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