Dual Diagnosis

PCP Withdrawal: What to Expect When Withdrawing From PCP

What is PCP Withdrawal Like?

PCP withdrawal is like other forms of drug withdrawal. With professional help, however, PCP withdrawal is more likely to succeed. Learn more.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Dual Diagnosis

April 29, 2024

Navigating the road of PCP withdrawal can feel overwhelming, but understanding the timeline and what to expect is your first step toward recovery.

Whether you're battling addiction yourself or supporting a loved one, knowing the phases of PCP withdrawal is crucial. This article will explore the symptoms, stages, and essential tips for managing this challenging journey.

Let's embark on this informative path together, ensuring you're well-equipped with the knowledge to tackle PCP withdrawal head-on.

Welcome to your guide on unraveling the complexities of the PCP withdrawal timeline.

What Is PCP?

PCP, or Phencyclidine, is a drug that might seem like a trip to another dimension but comes with a heavy cost. Originally used as an anesthetic, it fell out of favor due to its severe side effects. Street names for PCP include Angel Dust.

If you've heard of it, you might know it's not just about the high; the aftermath is tricky. PCP withdrawal can feel like a nightmare, with symptoms ranging from depression to intense cravings.

Understanding the risks is crucial before you or someone you know considers stepping into this risky terrain. Remember, what goes up must come down, and with PCP, the descent can be steep.

What Does PCP Do to You?

Using PCP can change the way your brain functions, leading to a sense of detachment from yourself and your environment. This may result in hallucinations, altered perceptions, and a false sense of invincibility, potentially leading to hazardous actions.

After the drug's effects diminish, withdrawal symptoms can emerge, making it difficult for individuals to feel balanced without the substance. This period is often marked by depression, anxiety, and a compelling urge to consume PCP again, underscoring the drug's addictive nature and the critical need for professional assistance.

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How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

How long does PCP stay in your system? It can last a surprisingly long time, making PCP withdrawal a challenging process. Typically, it stays in your bloodstream for up to 24 hours, in urine for 8 days to 2 weeks, and in your hair for up to 90 days.

But remember, these times can vary based on how much and how often you use it. Your body's metabolism, health, and hydration levels also play a significant role.

What Are Some PCP Side Effects?

PCP is one drug that can lead to some intense effects on your body and mind. When you're dealing with PCP or thinking about PCP withdrawal, it's crucial to be aware of the side effects it might bring along. Here's a rundown to keep you in the loop:

Mood Swings

You might find your emotions on a rollercoaster, swinging from euphoria to deep depression in no time.


Navigating through your day can get challenging as PCP causes confusion and disorientation, making familiar places feel strange.


Your senses might betray you, presenting sights, sounds, or feelings that aren't there, which can be pretty unsettling.

Physical Effects

Your heart might race, and your blood pressure could swing. Muscle coordination suffers, too, so tasks that require precision become harder.

Impaired Judgment

Making decisions can become risky as PCP clouds your judgment, leading to actions you might not normally consider.

Dealing with PCP withdrawal can be an intricate journey due to the intensification of side effects, underscoring the importance of professional support.

It's crucial to grasp the implications of these effects to protect your health and well-being. If you or your loved ones are facing this challenge, don't hesitate to contact The Edge Treatment Center. Our dedicated team offers personalized care plans designed to safely navigate you through this process. Let us guide you towards recovery with expertise and compassion.

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PCP Withdrawal Timeline

Understanding the PCP withdrawal timeline is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the journey toward recovery.

Here's a concise guide to help you grasp what to expect:

PCP Withdrawal: Initial Hours

The onset of PCP withdrawal symptoms can vary, but generally, you might start feeling the initial effects within a few hours after your last dose. This period can be tricky as your body starts to miss the drug.

PCP Withdrawal: First Few Days

The first 24 to 48 hours mark the beginning of more pronounced withdrawal symptoms. You could experience a mix of physical and psychological discomfort, ranging from cravings, anxiety, and confusion to increased heart rate. It's a tough phase, but understanding that these symptoms are part of the process can be empowering.

PCP Withdrawal: Peak Symptoms

Typically, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms peaks around the 3rd to 7th day. This period can be particularly challenging, as symptoms like severe mood swings, depression, and even hallucinations might occur. Remember, these intense symptoms signify that your body is adjusting to the absence of PCP, and getting through this phase is a significant step toward recovery.

PCP Withdrawal: Subsiding Symptoms

After the first week, the severe symptoms gradually lessen. Though you might still feel lingering effects like fatigue or mild depression, these are signs that your body is beginning to stabilize. This period is crucial for healing and adjusting to a new normal without PCP.

PCP Withdrawal: Long-Term Recovery

Beyond the initial weeks, the focus shifts to long-term recovery. PCP withdrawal is not just about the immediate withdrawal symptoms but also about dealing with psychological dependence. Support groups, therapy, and a solid support system are pivotal during this phase to prevent relapse and foster a sustainable recovery.

The PCP withdrawal timeline can vary based on several factors, including your usage pattern and overall health.

Seeking professional help can provide you with tailored support and strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively.

What Are PCP Withdrawal Symptoms?

When you stop using PCP after a period of regular use, you might face a range of withdrawal symptoms. It's your body's way of adjusting to the absence of the substance.

Here's a concise breakdown of what you could experience during PCP withdrawal:

  • Mood swings: You might find yourself feeling particularly irritable or experiencing mood fluctuations.

  • Depression: A sense of deep sadness or hopelessness can kick in, making daily tasks feel overwhelming.

  • Anxiety: You may feel unusually anxious or nervous without a clear reason why.

  • Cravings: The urge to use PCP again can be strong as your body has grown accustomed to its effects.

  • Physical discomfort: Symptoms like headaches, sweating, and nausea are common, making you feel physically unwell.

  • Sleep issues: You might find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, or you could experience vivid, unsettling dreams.

Navigating PCP withdrawal can be challenging, but understanding these symptoms is the first step towards recovery. It's crucial to seek professional help to manage these symptoms safely and effectively.

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Recovery & Treatment

When navigating the choppy waters of PCP withdrawal, knowing what to expect and how to handle it makes all the difference.

Here's a concise guide to help you through:

  • Understand PCP Withdrawal: First off, PCP withdrawal can be tough. Symptoms can range from cravings and confusion to severe anxiety and depression. Your body's trying to adjust to the absence of PCP, and it's a challenging phase.

  • Seek Professional Help: It's crucial to have medical supervision. Detoxing from PCP can be unpredictable, and professionals can provide the support and care you need.

  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Your body needs fuel to heal. Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet helps your body recover more effectively.

  • Find Support: Whether it's friends, family, or support groups, having people to talk to can make a difference. You're not alone in this.

  • Focus on Mental Health: PCP withdrawal can take a toll on your mental state. Meditation, exercise, or therapy can help manage stress and improve mood.

Recovery is a journey, and with the right approach, overcoming PCP withdrawal is within your reach. Stay patient, stay hopeful, and take it one step at a time.

Understanding the PCP withdrawal timeline is crucial if you or someone you know is navigating through it. The process can vary significantly from person to person, but knowing what to expect can provide some comfort.

You're not alone in this journey. For more personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs or those of a loved one, consider contacting The Edge Treatment Center. They're ready to help you every step of the way with care plans designed just for you.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.