Phencyclidine was developed as an anesthetic but was discontinued for its severe side effects including hallucinations, violent rages, seizures and coma. PCP can cause a full range of effects similar to being on a stimulant and a hallucinogen simultaneously. For some, it acts as a stimulant in small doses. It is manufactured illegally and can be found in the forms of white powder, tablets or capsules.

A dissociative drug developed as an intravenous anesthetic that has been discontinued due to serious adverse effects. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality. PCP is an abbreviation of the scientific name, phencyclidine. For more information, see the Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs Research Report

Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken DEA Schedule
Angel Dust, Boat, Hog, Love Boat, Peace Pill No commercial uses White or colored powder, tablet, or capsule; clear liquid Injected, snorted, swallowed, smoked (powder added to mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana) I, II**
Possible Health Effects 
Short-term Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, problems thinking, a sense of distance from one’s environment, anxiety.

Low doses: slight increase in breathing rate; increased blood pressure and heart rate; shallow breathing; face redness and sweating; numbness of the hands or feet; problems with movement.

High doses: lowered blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate; nausea; vomiting; blurred vision; flicking up and down of the eyes; drooling; loss of balance; dizziness; violence; suicidal thoughts; seizures, coma, and death.

Long-term Memory loss, problems with speech and thinking, depression, weight loss, anxiety.
Other Health-related Issues PCP has been linked to self-injury.

Risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles.

In Combination with Alcohol Increased risk of coma.
Withdrawal Symptoms Headaches, sweating.
Treatment Options
Medications There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to PCP or other dissociative drugs.
Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs.

How can you tell if a friend is using?

  • may appear to be drunk
  • poor coordination, slurred speech
  • difficulty concentrating
  • hallucinations
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • less sensitive to pain
  • becomes aggressive or withdrawn
  • dissociative state (out of touch with surroundings)
  • bizarre behaviors frequently get users in trouble with the law

At larger doses:

  • seizures, convulsions
  • catatonic
  • coma
  • decreased respiration


National Institute on Drug Abuse--Commonly Used Drugs