The drug PCP – which stands for phencyclidine – was developed in the 1950s to be an intravenous anesthetic drug, but the side effects patients experienced after using the substance led to the discontinuation of its use for medical purposes. However, it has been introduced as an illicit hallucinogen. It is sometimes called angel dust, embalming fluid, or rocket fuel. As a nonmedical, dangerous drug, PCP is found in powdered form, and it is typically smoked, although it can also be mixed with water and injected, drank, or eaten. It is also sometimes found as a pill or gel capsule.
As a hallucinogen, PCP affects people very differently. In the best potential circumstances, the person who takes PCP receives a sense of euphoria and some perceptual changes; unfortunately, this drug is very dangerous and can cause serious mental and physical side effects.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in 2010, there were 53,542 emergency room visits associated with PCP abuse. The drug is primarily ingested by teenagers and young adults, which can lead to long-term health problems in addition to short-term side effects.