Substance Use

How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

Phencyclidine pcp urine drug test

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Phencyclidine (PCP) is an illegal substance used by many for its hallucinogenic effects. This drug has a long list of side effects and causes a drastically altered perception.Keep reading to learn more about this common drug and how long PCP stays in your system, along with other essential facts about this substance.

If you or a loved one are struggling with PCP abuse, Zinnia Health can help. Our inpatient facilities and caring staff can provide the support you need to recover from drug abuse. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.

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Detection Times and Testing Methods for PCP

PCP can be detected in the user’s system using a variety of testing methods:

  • Urine testing
  • Blood testing
  • Hair testing
  • Saliva testing

One of the most common tests used today is the urine test. The urine test works like a typical lab urine test where the user’s urine is collected in a cup and sent to the lab. These tests are reasonably accurate and detect PCP in the body anywhere from 4 to 6 hours after use. The urine test can also detect PCP traces anywhere from 7 to 14 days after use.

A different type of test from the urine test is the blood test. The blood test is more accurate and is administered while the user is still experiencing the effects of PCP. When a user is admitted to a hospital, this is usually the type of test used to detect various drugs in the system.

A hair test can also detect PCP use. These tests are most accurate when performed anywhere from 5 to 10 days after PCP is used. They can also accurately detect PCP use for up to 90 days.

Although used less commonly, there is also a saliva test that can accurately detect PCP use within 5 to 10 minutes of ingestion and continues to accurately detect PCP use for up to three days after the initial dose. 

Unlike many other illegal drugs, PCP is stored in the body’s fat tissue and slowly released over time. Because of this mechanism, the hallucinogenic effects are stretched over a long time frame. In terms of PCP’s half-life, or the time it takes for the drug to break down in the body, it’s generally three days.

When a person is a heavy user of PCP, that time frame increases, and the drug is detected in the brain for up to a week

One thing to keep in mind when testing for PCP is that certain over-the-counter medicines and drugs create a false positive. Some medications that cause this include:

  • Tramadol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Imipramine 
  • Diphenhydramine 
  • Ketamine
  • Antidepressants

If the person tested uses any of these medications, they must alert the person giving the test to ensure they realize the risk of a false positive.

What Are the Signs of PCP Addiction?

Like any potentially addictive drug, the user may develop a dependency on PCP. Some signs point to possible addiction.

When you notice any of these signs, seek treatment immediately or help the individual with the addiction recognize the harmful effects and encourage them to seek treatment: 

  • Consistent behavioral issues
  • A constant desire to use the drug
  • Previous history of use 
  • Denial of use with signs consistent with using the drug
  • Craving the substance 

Drug addiction can look different from person to person. It’s vital to monitor behaviors and note the previous history to assess the situation accurately. It’s also important to know that many people will deny using when they have an active addiction.

In many cases, the PCP user doesn’t want tests to detect their drug use. Some try to detox their bodies to purge the PCP from their system. However, these diets or actions don’t work. Since the drug is stored in the fat tissues, the only way to rid the body of PCP is to stop doing the drug.

Detox and purge diets won’t work and may prove dangerous for the user. The best solution is to get help for an addiction. Over time, the body rids itself of the drug and begins to recover. 

Seeking treatment from a drug treatment center like Zinnia Health offers hope for overcoming PCP addiction by providing the patient with the best care and tailored treatment plans to ensure they have the best possible outcome.

Learn more about Zinnia Health’s approach to substance use

What Are the Effects of PCP?

Currently, PCP is created in illegal labs and sold on the street like many other common street drugs. This drug is fast-acting, and effects begin anywhere from one to five minutes after smoking PCP.

The drug continues to peak in the system anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes after smoking it. The high from the substance continues for up to six hours. Lingering effects are felt for anywhere from one to two days after use. 

What Are the Issues Related to PCP Use?

There are many problems associated with PCP use, including both physical and psychological effects. These effects occur on a long-term and a short-term basis. Some people may have life-threatening issues that cause death or carry the risk of death.

These can include heart attack, stroke, seizures, and more. The more a user turns to PCP for a high, the higher the chance of long-term damage. While high on PCP, some people commit violent crimes, harm themselves, or find themselves in very dangerous situations. 

Some may create the desired effect, but others may be dangerous. Some can create a medical emergency for the user, which can have long-term consequences. Many people also combine PCP with other substances, making it even more dangerous and more likely that an overdose or reaction to mixing drugs will happen. 

When PCP is taken in smaller amounts under 20 mg, there are noticeable effects, but they pose a less immediate risk to the user’s health. They may stare off into the distance and have incoherent speech. There may also be other less noticeable signs, such as anxiety and an altered sense of perception.

Although no dose of PCP is deemed safe, the 20 mg threshold is accepted as a low to medium dose. If the user exceeds 20 mg of PCP, there are life-threatening effects such as stroke, fever, coma, and even death. 

How to Get Treatment for PCP Addiction

Seeking treatment for PCP addiction is never easy for the user. If you’re not the user, patience and understanding are required to connect with the user to suggest they seek treatment. Not all situations will be the same.

Zinnia Health treatment facilities provide a streamlined admissions process to be less stressful and faster. The goal is to get the necessary information and insurance details right away to help the patient get to the treatment center more quickly and begin their journey toward recovery.

The key to helping someone receive treatment at the correct facility using the right treatment plan is to gather the necessary information. The PCP addict must be honest with their drug use details and provide accurate information related to their medical history and drug use history. Obtaining this information ensures that any potential medical problems or interactions are recognized.

Once the person is admitted to treatment, they begin the process of eliminating the PCP from their system under the strict supervision of qualified professionals trained to handle specific issues related to PCP withdrawal and cravings.

They can assist with these urges and any related behavioral changes or physical problems during the process. The goal is to make the patient comfortable and help them overcome the need to use the drug. Then, they work on coping skills and learn ways to avoid using the drug in their daily lives.

Seeking PCP Addiction Treatment Through Zinnia Health

At Zinnia Health, we are committed to helping patients seek treatment for various addictions, including PCP addiction. Our caring staff works hard to ensure each person’s fast and efficient admission to begin their treatment immediately.

Many people seeking treatment are nervous about disclosing information. Still, they can rest easy knowing the initial process is less intrusive and aims to get essential details and start the process in a caring manner. Once the information is received, the patient is on their way to their designated facility to begin the process of recovery in a professional, comfortable setting. 

Call Zinnia Health today to begin the treatment process and get your life back on track at (855) 430-9439.

Call us
Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
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