Facts You Should Know About PCP - DHS 4497

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a white crystalline powder with a distinctive bitter chemical taste. It was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic. Use of PCP in humans was discontinued in 1965 because it was found that patients often became agitated, delusional, and irrational when recovering from its anesthetic effects. It is still used as a tranquilizer for animals.

Slang Terms:

  • Angel dust
  • Rocket fuel
  • Mist Dust
  • Wack
  • Elephant tranquilizer
  • Flying Saucers
  • Ozone
  • Peace pill

When mixed with Marijuana:

  • Crystal
  • supergrass
  • Killer joint

Methods of Intake:

PCP can be swallowed, smoked, snorted, or injected. It often laces batches of marijuana

and amphetamines.


The PCP experience is pleasant about half of the time. It can produce euphoria, relaxation

and can alleviate pain.


PCP can trigger a number of negative effects. These effects sometimes last for up to six weeks. People who use PCP for long periods of time report speech difficulties, depression, and weight loss. Regular PCP users tend to lose their fine motor skills and short-term memory. Interaction between PCP and other depressants such as alcohol can lead to coma or death.

Side Effects:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Slurred Speech
  • Increased heartbeat rate
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Numbness
  • Hostility
  • Personality changes
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Vomiting
  • Blackouts
  • Drooling
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Change in body awareness



If you would like to know what substance abuse treatment providers are in your community, contact one of the following helplines:

  • 1-800-662-HELP
  • 1-800-662-9832 (Espanol)
  • 1-800-228-0427 (TTY)

If you have any questions about alcohol or other drugs, call:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

  • 1-866-213-0548 (toll-free Voice)
  • 1-866-843-7344 (toll-free TTY)

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer and Provider Assistance
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4497 (R-04-14) Drug Series - PCP

Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

200 copies P.O.#14-1076