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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066


PCP, angel dust.

What does PCP look like?

In its pure form it is a white crystalline powder, Tablets, liquid.

PCP tablets

Scientific Names

Phencyclidine, Phenylcyclohexylpiperidine

Generic Name


Effects Of PCP

Desired Effects:

Relaxation, disinhibition and hallucinations. PCP has been sold under the name of other Psychedelic drugs, so unwitting users would be looking for effects similar to LSD i.e.hallucinations and hilarity.


Decreased sensitivity to pain, drowsiness, dizziness, numbness, loss of coordination, confusion, hallucinations, dissociation ('out-of-the-body' feelings). PCP has a reputation in the USA for producing violent, paranoid and psychotic behaviour in its users. Because it is only rarely seen in the UK it is not clear if these effects would be found in UK users.



Unpredictable behaviour, accidents, Overdose, collapse, convulsions.


May include speech problems and memory loss. Can also induce a psychotic state that resembles schizophrenic episodes which can last for months at a time with toxic doses.

Reducing Harm

Please view our Reducing Harm page for more information.

How does PCP work?

Hallucinogenic, anaesthetic, neurotoxin (a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells).

Legal status of PCP

Class A under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

How Is PCP Taken?

Tablets can be taken orally, powder can be snorted up the nose, sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked, or injected. Or a cigarette or Joint can be dipped in to liquid PCP then smoked.


If snorted:
Razor blade, hard level surface (such as a mirror or glass), tube or rolled banknote.

If smoked:
Cigarette papers, tobacco or marijuana.

If injected:
Syringe and Needle, water, spoon, Tourniquet.

Medical uses of PCP

Was discontinued as a human anaesthetic and then also discontinued as a veterinary anaesthetic. Considered unsuitable for medical applications.

Where does it come from?

This drug is well known in the USA but is rarely seen in Britain. It may be imported, probably from the USA or diverted from domestic veterinary supplies.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have ‘street agencies’ or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. If use of this substance becomes a problem you can seek help, advice and counselling from a service in your area. Counselling services may be appropriate. GPs can make referrals to specialist drug services.

Parents & other relatives

Many drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using drugs. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about PCP problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234
Last updated: 31 December 2012