How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

Detection timetable depends on many variables

PCP Pills
PCP Is a Hallucinogen. DEA

Determining exactly how long PCP is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used. PCP, also known as Angel dust, boat, hog, love boat, embalming fluid, killer weed, rocket fuel, supergrass, wack, ozone, can be detected for a shorter time with some tests but can be "visible" for up to three months in other tests.

The timetable for detecting PCP in the system is also dependent upon each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health conditions and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact time PCP will show up on a drug test.

PCP Drug Tests Timetable

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which PCP can be detected by various testing methods:

Urine Test: 1-7 days, heavy 1-4 weeks
Blood Test: 24 hours
Saliva Test: 1-10 days

PCP, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.

PCP Dosage Can Make a Difference

There is a significant difference between a small amount of PCP compared to a large dosage, in terms of side effects. Therefore, knowing how long PCP remains in your system is important. If you take more of the drug before it is completely metabolized, you could suffer serious side effects.

Even at low dosages, PCP can cause a loss of coordination and numbness throughout your body. On large dosages of PCP, users have been known to become paranoid, suspicious, and not trust others. Some report hearing voices, acting strangely, or become aggressive or violent.

Harmful Side Effects

At normal dosages, PCP can cause an increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. But, a large dose of PCP can have the opposite effect and can cause heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate dangerously low.

Very large dosages of PCP taken orally can cause:

Because PCP numbs you and has pain-killing properties, some users have been seriously injured while using the drug and not realize they were hurt.

Long-term use of PCP has been found to cause memory problems, cognitive problems, slurred speech or stuttering.

Effects of Withdrawal

Even after you stop using PCP you can experience withdrawal symptoms that can become very serious. Some of the PCP withdrawal symptoms patients have reported include:

  • Feelings of fear or unease
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Twitching
  • Weight loss
  • Increased body temperature
  • Seizures

PCP Can Be Addictive

Some people who use PCP can become dependent upon the drug and develop classic symptoms of addiction such as not being able to get through the day without the drug and not being able to control how much of it that they use.

Phencyclidine users can also develop a tolerance to the drug which means they require larger and larger dosages of it to achieve the same effect, which can have negative health consequences as they take increased amounts of the drug.

Do You Need Treatment?

If you find yourself requiring larger amounts of PCP to reach the same "high" as you once experienced, you could be becoming dependent upon the drug and you may want to seek help in trying to quit.

You may need to enter a residential treatment program so that your withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored and you can receive medication to reduce those withdrawal effects.

Unlike alcohol and some other illicit drugs, there are no medications available to treat PCP dependence by reducing the effects of the drug or reducing craving for the drug for those trying to quit. Behavior therapy is currently the only effective treatment for PCP addiction.

Sources:

American Association for Clinical Chemistry "Drugs of Abuse Testing." Lab Tests Online. Revised 2 January 2013.

LabCorp, Inc. "Drugs of Abuse Reference Guide." 

OHS Health & Safety Services. "How long do drugs stay in your system - including alcohol?." 

U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Substance use - phencyclidine (PCP)." Drugs & Supplements June 2016

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