Phencyclidine By marlena brannen

Common Name: Phencyclidine

Street Name: PCP, Angel Dust, Amoeba, PeaCe Pill, Hog, Lovely, Whack, Ozone, Dust

Chemical Formula: C17H25N

Class Type: Hallucinogen

Forms Phencyclidine Can Come In: Pills, Powder, Tablet, Crystal (can also be injected but is not common)

Dependence: Reports of physical dependence on PCP are very rare, but most cases where people seek withdrawal from PCP experience depression, drug craving, increased appetite, and increased need for sleep.

Symptoms of Use:

Short Term: mild to intense euphoria, relaxation or drowsiness, feelings of unreality and dissociation of reality, hallucinations, difficulty thinking and concentrating, anxiety, vomiting, salivation, and increased sweating alternating with chills and shivering.

Long Term: "runs" (where users take continuous amounts of PCP for a few days straight without eating or sleeping, followed by a period of rest), impaired memory, severe anxiety or depression, speech impairments such as stuttering or the inability to speak at all, flashbacks, and hallucinations.

Treatment for Drug Abuse:

Treatment for PCP is very often very successful, and attainable. The first step is to detox of the drug completely, which may induce seizures, so detox should be heavily monitored by a medical professional at a rehabilitation center. After detoxing, therapy will begin, either in rehab or in an outpatient treatment program. After therapy, the patient can choose a sober living house, or continued therapy, or a twelve step program.

Class of Drug:

PCP is a Schedule II drug, which can mean the drug has a high potential for abuse, the drug can be used in medical instances in severe restrictions, or the drug can lead severe psychological or physical dependence.

Legal Ramifications of Being Caught with PCP:

The first offense for being caught with 100 to 999 grams of PCP can face five to forty years in prison and/or a two million dollar fine. If death or serious injury was involved, twenty years are added. The second offense is ten years and/or a four million dollar fine. If death or serious injury was involved, life in prison. If caught with more than a kilogram of PCP, ten to twenty years and/or an eight million fine.

Symptoms Visible in a User:

impaired motor skills, blurred vision or constricted pupils, dizziness, sensitivity to sound, blank staring, speech impediments, decreased sensitivity to pain, nausea, vomiting, salivation

How to Identify PCP at a Crime Scene:

PCP in a liquid form is colorless, but often saturated on spearmint or parsley leaves in a mason jar. PCP in a powder form can range from white to beige. PCP in tablet form have to be pressed because there is no pharmaceutical pill for PCP.

PCP Field Tests:

PCP can be tested for at a crime scene by using a NIK Presumptive Drug Test. These tests are a small pouch of chemical reactant. If you put a small sample of the drug from the crime scene in and shake the pouch, a color change within the crystals inside indicates a positive test. If the crystals do not change color, then the test is negative.

Common Chemical Tests:

Common chemical tests to find evidence for use of PCP can be found through urine testing, hair testing, and blood testing. Ten percent of PCP is excreted in urine. Hair testing can be used for up to ninety days after use and researchers usually take the most recent inch and a half of hair to detect use. PCP can be found in blood for one to three days after use.


Saferstein, R. (2009). Forensic science: from the crime scene to the crime lab. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

PCP Drug Testing. (2015, October 10). Retrieved April 22, 2017, from

NIKĀ® Presumptive Drug Test Pouch. Retrieved April 22, 2017, from

England, D. C. (n.d.). PCP Possession and Penalties | Criminal Law. Retrieved April 22, 2017, from

PCP Abuse. (2016, September 27). Retrieved April 22, 2017, from

(n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2017, from

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