Acute Pcp Intoxication

As with all drugs, the effects of PCP depend on the dose that is taken. The section above lists the typical effects of PCP at various doses. PCP abusers usually adjust their dosage to experience only the low-dose effects. High-dose effects are similar to a mild type of dissociative anesthesia.

Experienced drug abusers can readily distinguish the experience of PCP intoxication from that produced by other drugs such as MARIJUANA,

Mescaline, and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). Users typically report a feeling of dissociation from the environment and abnormal body sensations and body image. The perceptual distortions often cause things to appear far away or abnormal in size. Compared to LSD, the effects of PCP are not very PSYCHEDELIC.

The most dangerous effects of PCP intoxication arise from the impaired judgment and altered perceptions that occur. People can engage in risk-taking behavior and harm themselves or others. DRIVING, swimming, or other activities requiring coordination and good judgment become extremely dangerous. Someone on PCP may also engage in casual but high-risk sexual behaviors. PCP users experience profound mood swings—where what begins as a pleasant experience can turn into panic and terror—and their behavior is unpredictable. Sometimes these ''bad trips'' can lead to violent and uncharacteristic behaviors with disastrous results. In cases of high-dose intoxication, users can experience a toxic psychotic episode with DELIRIUM, profound HALLUCINATIONS, and paranoia. In cases of severe overdose, seizures, stroke, or kidney failure may lead to death (Burns & Lerner, 1976).

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