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Drug Myths Debunked: PCP

Any drug that can be used recreationally comes with a slew of drug myths. This is especially true of the infamous drug PCP (phencyclidine) also known as angel dust. PCP is a recreational dissociative drug that was formerly used as an anesthetic agent. PCP is essentially could be called a hallucinogen because of its effects. And some of what is known about PCP was probably made up in a hallucinogenic haze. For instance, that PCP is made up of the same stuff used in funeral homes to preserve dead bodies.

So let’s see what is true and what’s not. Is PCPs infamy due to actual fact or just stories that been passed around from drug user to drug user?

This is drug myths debunked: PCP

PCP and Embalming Fluid: This is downright creepy

One of the most common myths about PCP is that it is the same as or synthesized from embalming fluid. Yes, you heard that right, embalming fluid. This myth is FALSE. PCP was called embalming fluid in the 1970s and is not the same or synthesized from embalming fluid. If it does have embalming fluid in it, it is not supposed to.

The truth behind this one:

The myth that PCP and embalming fluid are the same or synthesized from one another is false. But people who actually decide to mix the two and use embalming fluid is not.

Unfortunately for some people believing this myth, they have tried to smoke cigarettes or cannabis dipped in real embalming fluid (formaldehyde) which is highly toxic. This is a mistake because PCP is not in any way embalming fluid and they are two totally different substances. Some users of PCP-laced weed also believe and are often told that their pot contains embalming fluid and not PCP or that the slang term “dust” really means embalming fluid. This just isn’t true. Some people are even told that PCP is the two substances mixed together which further perpetuates the myth and the actual use of embalming fluid.

Also, because of PCP’s close identification with embalming fluid, mixtures of PCP and embalming fluid have actually popped up and are used recreationally. PCP and embalming fluid mixtures are called sherm, worm, water-water, amp, and illy. Smoking embalming fluid with PCP can result in:  Hallucinations; symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including delusions and paranoia; difficulty with speech or thought; loss of self-identity; depression and weight loss. It can cause users to lose the bounds of their egos and to lose touch with reality. Whatever way you look at it PCP should never have embalming fluid in it and the drug PCP is merely phencyclidine not a mixture of phencyclidine and embalming fluid. In fact, the drug PCP is in closer relation to Ketamine and nitrous oxide than it is embalming fluid.

Rodney King and PCP

The Rodney King police beating case in LA was a source of tons of controversy and outrage. And of course where there is controversy and outrage you can almost find myth and urban legend. Because Rodney King resisted arrest, with several officers needed to finally subdue him, he was assumed to be on PCP at the time. This is because PCP is notorious for causing violent and unpredictable behaviors, combined with an inability to feel pain (supposed “superhuman” strength). However, the truth always comes out and the toxicology results showed that the only drugs found in his system were alcohol and marijuana. This myth is just that, a myth.

“Man Slices off his Face and Feeds it to Dogs”: Um, What?

This myth sounds more like a present day incident ever since a man in Miami was found eating another man’s face. So is this PCP story true? No one can say for sure. It just might be. The legend holds that a man who, while under the influence of the drug, thoroughly sliced off pieces of his own face (including his eyes; I had to tell you that part) to feed to his pet dogs. Some versions of this story say that he suffered permanent brain damage as well. What is weird about this is that it is very similar to what one of the characters in Thomas Harris’ 1999 novel Hannibal did. The legend, however, goes back farther than 1999 and can be traced all the way to a New York homicide detective who wrote a book Practical Homicide Investigation. In this book he tells the story and says it did happen in the 1980s. A 1989 book, by Dr. Joseph Sacco also mentions this story but with a few differences in details. This legend hasn’t been proved or disproved. This myth will forever live on until it can be proved true or untrue.

Superhuman Strength and PCP

A widely held belief and myth about PCP is that it gives its users “superhuman” strength for the duration of its effects, and there are several little anecdotes that supposedly back up this phenomenon. However, while PCP commonly results in psychotic symptoms (to one degree or another) coupled with inability to feel pain, it can make its users feel invincible and appear to have “superhuman” strength. PCP does not typically make the user significantly stronger than they would be normally.

The exception to this myth could be also where it started. The exception is when a user experiences excited delirium from PCP, a severe and life-threatening reaction that occasionally results from use of PCP as well as various stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. Excited delirium has also been reported to occur without any drug use, and the increased strength that results is most likely caused by a massive increase in adrenaline. So you can take this one for what it is.

Well, folks, there are some of the most common drug myths about PCP debunked. I have never done PCP but it seems like one hell of a drug. A drug that I am glad I will never experience. Ah, it feels good to be sober.

If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for PCP Addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.




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