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P.C.P. - A drug: Phencyclidine. Phencyclidine was developed in the 1950's as an intravenous anesthetic but stopped being used in humans in 1965, because it was found that patients often became agitated, delusional, and irrational while recovering from its anesthetic effects.

PCP is illegally manufactured in laboratories and is sold on the street by such names as angel dust, ozone, wack, and rocket fuel.  The variety of street names for PCP reflects its bizarre and volatile effects.

PCP is a "dissociative drug," meaning that it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self. Dissociative drugs act by altering distribution of the neurotransmitter glutamate throughout the brain. Glutamate is involved in a person's perception of pain, responses to the environment, and memory.

PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. PCP can be mixed easily with dyes and turns up on the illicit drug market in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders. It is normally abused in one of three ways: snorted, smoked, or ingested. For smoking, PCP is often applied to a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana.