PCP, or Phencyclidine, is making a comeback, especially among young teens. Nationally, 1% of high school students report having smoked PCP, a/k/a Angel Dust. But in DC, the figure is 10%, 10 times the national average. In recent news, Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriot, is reported to have used PCP prior to allegedly murdering a friend. http://ti.me/1916ZMf
According new results from the 2012 National Survey of Drug Use, the median age of first use of PCP is 16.6 years old. That’s the youngest age for first use of any illicit drug. That mean that 50% of the kids who smoke PCP try it for the first time before they are 16 1/2 years old.
By comparison, the median age for first use of Ecstasy, often considered a youth culture drug, is 20.3 years of age – almost 4 years later. Young kids are experimenting with PCP. It’s one of the most serious health issues facing young people in the District. And one of the least talked-about.
Because of the early onset of experimentation, discussions about the danger of PCP need to begin in the childhood years.
PCP, also known as Love Boat, Angel Dust or Wet is way dangerous. Studies have linked PCP to brain lesions and schizophrenia-like changes to the brain. PCP induced psychosis is commonly reported. Because street dosage and purity varies, it’s impossible to control the dosage of this extremely powerful and toxic drug.
In DC, kids dip a cigarette into liquid PCP, an oily yellow substance with a strong oder, then smoke it. Severe psychological effects often follow, including self-injury, suicide or attacks on others. Paranoia, hallucinations and bizarre acts of violence have been widely reported for those on PCP.
Press reports of PCP induced wild behavior caused PCP to go out of fashion in the late 80’s. But it’s making a comeback now.
A new generation of kids doesn’t know about PCP. It’s our job to get the word out.