March 10, 2006, Newsletter Issue #74: Health Hazards

Tip of the Week

PCP is addicting.

In a hospital or detention setting, they often become violent or suicidal, and are very dangerous to themselves and to others. They should be kept in a calm setting and should not be left alone.

At low to moderate doses, physiological effects of PCP include a slight increase in breathing rate and a more pronounced rise in blood pressure and pulse rate. Respiration becomes shallow, and flushing and profuse sweating occur. Generalized numbness of the extremities and muscular incoordination also may occur. Psychological effects include distinct changes in body awareness, similar to those associated with alcohol intoxication.

At high doses of PCP, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration. This may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death.

Psychological effects at high doses include illusions and hallucinations. PCP can cause effects that mimic the full range of symptoms of schizophrenia. Speech is often sparse and garbled.

People who use PCP for long periods report memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. These symptoms can persist up to a year after cessation of PCP use.

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