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The Paradox of Phencyclidine (PCP) Abuse

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National Institute on Drug Abuse; Rockville, Maryland

Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(3):428-430. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-3-428
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Phencyclidine, widely abbreviated as PCP, and known by street names such as "angel dust," "goon," and dozens of others, is a deeply disturbing drug, dangerous both in acute and chronic use. It has been said to be everything we were afraid marihuana would turn out to be but hasn't. Among abused drugs, it has no current rivals for a whole litany of disturbing effects: Accidental high doses can produce severe or fatal medical complications, acute and recurrent psychoses, suicidal depressions, and unpredictable violence. Chronic use brings aggressiveness, psychologic dependence, memory loss, and physiologic dependence. Tragically, its use is widespread among


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