PCP Side Effects
Over 50% of patients that go to a hospital with PCP intoxication present with the following symptoms:
- Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Loss of awareness (anesthesia)
- Reduced feelings of pain (analgesia)
- Uncontrolled and repetitive eye movements (nystagmus)
- Violent behavior
These symptoms are the “classic” presentation of someone who is using PCP. It is possible for blood vessels in the brain to burst for some people, which cause can cause permanent cognitive impairment.
PCP intoxication has been known to induce seizures in some people.
A large number of people who use PCP also cause self-harm because of their reduced sensitivity to pain. People on PCP often cannot feel pain and become combative with bizarre movements. This is a recipe for self-injury.
PCP induces schizophrenia in some people, which is a mental health disorder characterized by troubled thoughts. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), delusions (believing things that are not true) and thinking/memory impairment.
See Related: Can alcohol trigger schizophrenia?
Long-term effects of PCP abuse also include rhabdomyolysis or the abnormal breakdown of muscle tissue. When muscle cells break down and die, they spill contents of the cells into the bloodstream. The kidneys have a difficult time processing the extra cell material. Therefore, PCP can cause permanent kidney damage.
Side Effects of Polysubstance Abuse
Polysubstance abuse is common among people using PCP since they often misuse other substances. PCP may also be an ingredient in ecstasy pills as well, and many people are unaware of it.
People often present to the emergency room with a mixture of drugs like LSD and PCP, PCP and coke and PCP and ketamine. However, the most common mixture is PCP and marijuana.
The side effects of misusing multiple drugs will vary, depending upon the combination that one uses. Regardless, polysubstance abuse can make detox and treatment more complicated and can increase the potential for addiction.