Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Friday, March 25, 2011

PCP Vault


Chemically known as phencyclidine. PCP is a psychoactive drug of the arylcyclohexylamine family, and exhibits dissociative-anaesthetic, sedative, and some stimulant properties. It is structurally related to ketamine and produces similar effects, but is about 4x more potent on a milligram basis.


Its main mode of action involves the glutamatergic NMDA receptor; PCP is an NMDA receptor antagonist - specifically, it binds to the PCP1 site located on the inner surface of the NMDA complex, and blocks the opening of the ion channel. It also blocks the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. PCP exhibits some dopaminergic properties; is a partial agonist at the D2 (dopaminergic) receptor, and it is believed to inhibit dopamine reuptake by acting at the PCP2 site located on the dopamine reuptake complex. Dopaminergic action may be involved in its psychotomimetic properties (i.e. its tendency to produce a state which mimicks psychosis).

Due to its blockade of the NMDA receptor, PCP produces a state of dissociation - i.e. a state best described as a disconnection of conscious awareness from sensory and environmental processing. This is due to the inhibition of communication between environmental & sensory input and the processing structures of the brain; and between various circuits of the brain itself - depending on the dose.

Simply put; dissociatives inhibit the complex processing capacity of the brain to translate sensory stimuli into experience or awareness, leaving the "mind" detatched from the senses, the environment, and the reality at hand (or in higher doses, detatched from essential data stored in other areas of the brain pertinent to identity, self awareness, and memory).



Body buzz

Increased energy

Megalomania; Feelings of power, fearlessness, and relevance

Increased self confidence and distorted self perception

Temporary motivation, unusual revalations, or the realization of odd ambitions

Dose dependent sedation or excitation.

Analgesia, anaesthesia, numbness, inability to feel pain

A sense of warmth or affection toward others

Social disinhibition; increased sociability or possible chattiness

Distortion and loss of sensory perceptions (dose dependent)

Closed eye or open eye visuals

Intense body buzz

Complete mind/body dissociation in high doses (very bizarre)

Distorted perceptions of reality or loss of self awareness


Slurred speech

Out of body experience

Distorted time perception

Ataxia and impaired motor coordination

Increased heart rate or depression of heart rate, respiratory depression, nausea & vomiting

Further Off-Site Reading: Neuropharmacology of PCP 

1 comment:

  1. "Addiction is simply the "rock solid will" to keep using drugs regularly, for any number of reasons, valid or not."

    Yes, exactly. As opposed to being used in a context of "weakness".

    Good show, DM.