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Phencyclidine (also called PCP, Angeldust and others) is a dissociative/anaesthetic developed in the 1960s by Parke & Davis.

Chemically and pharmacologically it is very similar to Ketamine and in effects very similar to DXM. However, one important difference is the excretion of the molecules, going on rather rapidly in the case of Ketamine, but extending over weeks in the case of PCP.

It was used for several years in human anaesthesia, but patients were confused, delirious ans experiencing hallucinations afterwards. These effects and the long half-life in the human body made it unsuitable for medical applications. It is retained in fatty tissue and is broken down by human metabolism into PCHP, PPC and PCAA. When smoked, some of it is broken down by heat into 1-(1-phenyl)-1-cyclohexene (PC) and piperidine.

From the 1960s, it was used only in veterinary medicine, mainly for horses, under the trade name of Sernylan. It was also placed in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In 1978 it was transferred to Schedule II of the CSA, and commercial manufacture was discontinued

It is sometimes consumed recreationally, mainly in the USA. The limited demand is met by illegal production. The drug is sold in an extremely limited number of cities. It is available as either a liquid (PCP base dissolved most often in ether) but typically it is sprayed onto leafy material such as marijuana, mint, oregano, or parsley, and smoked. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water. However, most PCP on the illicit market contains a number of contaminants as a result of makeshift manufacturing, causing the color to range from tan to brown, and the consistency to range from powder to a gummy mass. The drug is mentioned far more then it is actually encountered, being one of the most rare scheduled substances (second to extracted purified Mescaline).

Despite being a disasociative anesthetic it is very widely believed to cause violent behaviour and very realistic hallucinations, although this seems very unlikely. Prolonged consumption tends strongly to produce mental and physical illness.

(Note on this section: It is very contraversial if PCP has any strong and consistant effects markedly different from other similar compounds. Take this paragraph with a large grain of salt) The drug's effects are as varied as its appearance. A moderate amount of PCP often causes users to feel detached, distant, and estranged from their surroundings. Numbness, slurred speech, and loss of coordination may be accompanied by a sense of strength and invulnerability. A blank stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and an exaggerated gait are among the more observable effects. Auditory hallucinations, image distortion, severe mood disorders, and amnesia may also occur. In some users, PCP may cause acute anxiety and a feeling of impending doom; in others, paranoia and violent hostility; and in some, it may produce a psychoses indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Many believe PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. Modification of the manufacturing process may yield chemically related analogues capable of producing psychotic effects similar to PCP.

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