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Was your college kid arrested on charges of possessing PCP?

Perhaps you already know that PCP, or phencyclidine, still exists. In fact, many people continue to use it, produce it and distribute it. Maybe your first indication of this was when your college student called you from a jail here in Maryland, and you found out that he or she faces charges for possession or distribution of PCP.

Before you take any action regarding your child and the charges, you may want to know a bit more about this dangerous hallucinogen.

Its origins

Up until 1965, the medical field used PCP, or Angel Dust, as an anesthetic. It caused memory loss and catatonia, but the patient did not lose consciousness. It took that long for medical professionals to realize that the drug had dangerous side effects. It became popular as a street drug in the 1960s due to its euphoric, hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. By 1978, the drug couldn't even receive approval for use on animals because of the danger it poses.

People often use the drug for its olfactory, auditory and visual effects. A user may experience enhancements to sound and color. It also causes hallucinations and an elevated state of consciousness. The problems with the drug begin with the fact that the hallucinations are external. With other psychedelic drugs, they are only in the mind, but with PCP, a user can believe they are real. Obviously, this could lead to frightening, dark and sinister experiences while on the drug.

PCP doesn't necessarily come with any physical side effects like other illicit drugs. Instead, the psychological ones cause the most worry. Violent crimes could be committed under its influence, and your child may not even remember it.

Its effects

Other than the potential for violent outbursts and uncontrolled violent actions, PCP could also cause the following effects in your child:

  • Paranoia
  • Anesthesia
  • Pain relief
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Loss of his or her sense of self
  • Convulsions with high doses
  • Temporary psychotic state

Even with the possibility of "bad trips," your child could become addicted to PCP depending on the circumstances and his or her propensity for addiction.

Its criminal side effects

Assault, property damage and even murder have been said to occur under the influence of PCP. Knowing this, you may hope that your child only faces drug charges connected to this highly volatile drug. If addiction is a problem, your child needs more help than incarceration could provide. Instead, it may be possible to get him or her the help needed in order to become free from the drug and the problems it brings with it.

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