What Are the Effects of Mixing PCP and Alcohol?

Small bottle filled with PCP drug

Mixing any drug with alcohol can result in unwanted, unpleasant, or even lethal side effects. The hallucinogen phencyclidine, or PCP (also known as angel dust), is a white, crystalline powder that was developed in the 1950s for use as an anesthetic, but is now classified as a schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This means it is a potentially dangerous drug that has a high potential for abuse and psychological and physical addiction.1 When combined with alcohol, PCP can be deadly.

Side Effects of Taking PCP With Alcoholic Drinks

Hallucinogen use affects everyone differently, and the symptoms of an alcohol and PCP interaction vary from person to person. Individual factors such as body mass, previous use, the amount and strength of PCP, and the amount of alcohol ingested are factors that can play a role in the symptoms you may develop due to alcohol and PCP use.2 PCP has sedative effects that can be enhanced by the use of alcohol.

Used alone at low doses, PCP can cause symptoms that mimic those of alcohol intoxication, such as:2

  • Dizziness.
  • Feelings of relaxation or happiness.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Disorientation.
  • Vomiting.

At higher doses, PCP use can cause more severe side effects, including:3

  • Psychosis.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Vertigo.
  • Catatonia.
  • Paranoia.

If used long-term at high doses, PCP use can result in symptoms such as:4

  • Speech problems.
  • Memory issues.
  • Severe malnutrition and weight loss.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Thoughts of suicide.

An alcohol and PCP interaction may result in an enhancement of these effects, as well as possibly causing other unknown side effects. Some of the known dangers of alcohol and PCP may include:2

  • Increased physical disorientation.
  • Persistent vomiting.
  • Accidental overdose.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Treatment for Addiction to PCP and Alcohol

You don’t have to suffer endlessly from an addiction to alcohol and PCP. With the proper professional assistance, you can get your life back under control. Some of the ways alcohol and PCP addiction may be treated include:

  • Detox.
  • Inpatient treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment.
  • Individual counseling.
  • 12-step groups.
Young woman sitting on couch with therapist

Detox

PCP withdrawal can result in a number of symptoms, such as:2

  • Cravings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Anhedonia, or an inability to experience pleasure.

Supervised medical detox can help you deal with these symptoms and help gradually taper your usage of the drug. Additionally, many individuals with longstanding alcohol abuse may experience a potentially dangerous acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Medically supervised detox can help to manage the potentially life-threatening developments that may arise during this period.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is a residential option that can be long- or short-term. Inpatient programs usually include a range of treatment modalities, such as:

  • Group counseling.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Recreational therapy.
  • Music therapy.
  • Self-help programs.

Because inpatient programs offer 24/7 supervision, intensive support, and monitoring, they may be more effective in managing cases of severe addiction.

The exact types of treatment offered depend on the type of facility you choose. In addition to the usual components of treatment, many high-end, luxury facilities offer amenities, such as private rooms, massage, and gourmet meals, that can help make your stay more pleasant.

Outpatient Treatment

Those who cannot devote several weeks or months to treatment often benefit from outpatient treatment, which usually consists of similar components to inpatient treatment but on a less intensive scale and in a less immersive setting. People usually attend between 1 and 5 treatment sessions per week.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is often sought by those who have already completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program and who wish to obtain additional support on their road to recovery. Individual counseling can help further address issues that caused the person to start using in the first place.

12-Step Groups

A 12-step philosophy is often integrated as a fundamental component of inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. Additionally, 12-step meeting attendance is a key feature of many aftercare.

As part of their ongoing sobriety maintenance, many people in recovery continue to participate in 12-step programs long after the conclusion of their initial rehabilitation efforts. Many 12-step programs offer support and encouragement from others who are recovering and a structured system of life in recovery.

Hotline to Call

Please call our 24-hour hotline at 1-888-919-3845  or fill out our contact form if you need information about treatment for addiction to PCP or alcohol for yourself or for a loved one who’s experiencing the effects of mixing PCP and alcohol.

Sources

  1. National Drug Intelligence Center. PCP Fast Facts.
  2. Australian Drug Foundation (2015). DrugInfo: Hallucinogens Facts.
  3. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (2016). PCP.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse (2016). DrugFacts: Hallucinogens.
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