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How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

by Will Long

July 4, 2023
PCP cigarette and vial

PCP, one of the most dangerous illicit substances on the black market, can stay in a user’s system for up to a week after use. This can usually be detected via urine test. Blood and saliva tests have a shorter window of detection, typically a few days. In contrast, hair tests can identify PCP use for up to 90 days, making it the longest-lasting method of detection. Variables like metabolism, body mass, and hydration can affect how long PCP stays in the system. More frequent users may retain the drug in their bodies for longer periods due to accumulation, adding complexity to the detection window.

What is PCP?

Phencyclidine, better known as PCP, represents one of the most dangerous addictive substances. PCP stands as a hallucinogenic drug that significantly alters perceptions of reality. Users often experience hallucinations, delusions, and a sense of detachment from their environment. The dangers include not only physical harm, such as kidney damage and seizures, but also potential for severe mental health issues like psychosis and depression.

The drug can be swallowed, smoked, or snorted. A regular dose averages around 5 to 10 mg. The most common method of using the substance non-medically is by soaking a leafy material in PCP and then rolling it in rolling papers to smoke. Other ways of smoking the drug are achieved by dipping either a marijuana joint or a cigarette in liquid PCP.

PCP interacts directly with the brain, binding to receptors that influence perception and cognition. This interaction often leads to hallucinations and altered perceptions. The effects of PCP can include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory failure in higher doses

To learn more about PCP, read our Sober Facts drug profile of the substance.

Addiction & Withdrawal

Signs of PCP addiction may include continuous use despite negative consequences, increased tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms when not using. Withdrawal from PCP can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and cravings. Because of these severe symptoms, medical detoxification becomes a necessity for safe and effective recovery.

How Landmark Recovery Can Help

At Landmark Recovery, our approach to treating addiction begins with comprehensive medical detox, followed by therapy and support groups. Professional help in overcoming a PCP addiction is crucial due to the drug’s severe physical and psychological effects.

Seeking help is vital for anyone struggling with substance misuse. If you or someone you know struggles with an addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call Landmark Recovery at 888-448-0302 to discuss treatment options and start the journey towards recovery today.

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About the Author

Will Long

Will Long

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Long has been a writer for Landmark Recovery since 2021. He specializes in research and writing about substance abuse from a scientific and social perspective. Unearthing information from underexplored, far-flung corners of the Internet, Long’s passion is finding emerging trends in substance use and treatment that the public should know about.