How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

PCP Addiction
Addiction Recovery
Addiction Treatment
Substance Abuse

PCP is a dangerous drug that has become one of the main problems for addiction in the country. Included in this article is everything you need to know regarding how to detect PCP withdrawal signs, and side effects, including the ideal treatment programs to be used for people in recovery from their drug dependence. Continue reading this blog from Transcend Recovery Community to find more.

How Long Does PCP Last in the Body and by Type of Drug Tests?

PCP stays in the system between 7 to 46 hours. But for specialists to better trace the drug inside an individual's body, a standard drug test is made to detect PCP. These drug exams may involve testing your urine, saliva, blood, or hair which are used by schools and companies for mandatory drug screening for their students, employees, and staff.

PCP in Urine Tests

For a standard urine test:

Right after use - 4 to 6 hours

window period - 7 to 14 days (up to a week or 2 weeks)

PCP in Hair Follicle Tests

For a standard hair test:

right after use - within 5 to 10 days

overall window period - up to 90 days

Hair tests are used to screen for the presence of PCP in the longer term, especially in recovering individuals.

PCP in Saliva Tests

For a standard saliva test:

right after use - 5 to 10 minutes

overall window period - up to 72 hours (3 days)

PCP Detection in Blood Tests

For a standard blood test:

right after use - 1 to 4 hours

Note that blood tests are often done in an emergency setting. Taking samples for a blood drug test right after use is recommended as plasma levels peak within the first four hours.

What is PCP?

yellow pcp pills on a table

PCP is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, it's a psychedelic drug with many known street names such as "angel dust," "hog," "elephant tranquilizer," and "wack."

The medical community first made note of PCP as a surgical anesthetic in the 1950s but was discontinued for its psychotic effects when administered to patients, even in low doses. It's one of the common dissociative drugs that directly affect the central nervous system.

As it is considered a dangerous drug, illegal labs are known to produce and syndicate PCP in powder form or liquid form. PCP use is linked to violent crimes and aggression, while an overdose can lead to a fatal medical emergency.

Some of the known side effects of PCP use include:

  • euphoria
  • anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • delusion
  • bizarre behavior
  • confusion or disorientation
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Some extreme side effects may also include:

  • seizures
  • coma
  • sudden death
  • skeletal damage

Taking PCP with other substances may worsen these side effects. Seek immediate medical attention when this happens.

When someone develops a dependence on PDC, they may be at risk for long-term health problems. Some of these include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Memory and reasoning problems
  • Flashbacks

Determining Factors on How Long PCP Stays in Your System

As drugs like flakka and PCP stay in your system for longer, more and more people are curious about how to flush these better out of their bodies. The fact remains that there are many ways for you to process them. But you would need to understand how PCP addiction may impact the drug staying in your system.

Variables like someone's co-occurring disorders (i.e. process addiction) and other genetic factors also play into the equation, especially with PCP use. Here are some of the more common determining factors that impact "how long does PCP stay in your system."

hydration levels - staying hydrated is key in how our body flushes itself off toxins. People will low hydration levels will understandably have a harder time getting rid of the drug from their system.

frequency of use - people who frequently engage in substance abuse or drug use will have drugs built up in their system. As they build a tolerance to the substance, it's understandable that PCP will remain in their system for longer.

Age - Younger people have a higher chance of processing PCP due to their chemical abuse compared to a senior citizen who has a substance use disorder as they have developed/better functioning organs compared to the latter.

PCP's half-life - A drug's half-life refers to the amount of time our system flushes away half of the illicit drug. In PCP's case, it takes up to three days to eliminate 50% from your body.

What Happens When You Stop Taking PCP?

Just like with other substances like opiates, PPC also exhibits various withdrawal symptoms that people may experience the moment they cease PCP abuse. But like other drugs, they may show different signs that can range from mild or manageable to excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable. Let's look into some of them.

  • high blood pressure
  • increased body temperature
  • slurred speech
  • muscle twitches
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • weight changes (decrease in weight)
  • cognitive issues

People who are experiencing adverse effects of their withdrawal from PCP should inform licensed medical professionals about these physical signs—especially when their mental wellness is severely affected. People must also gradually perform their withdrawal to avoid any psychological effects caused by their phencyclidine intoxication.

Additionally, you must also seek professional medical advice especially when these withdrawal signs begin to worsen and start to affect your day-to-day living or activities, to better ascertain the more appropriate substance abuse treatment program for your situation.

About PCP Misuse and Addiction Treatment

There are about 3 common factors that influence someone's addiction or chronic PCP use. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration continuously educate people to better understand how behavioral health conditions may influence a person with their drug addiction.

To better illustrate and understand how misuse can be traced, here are 3 common factors that one should consider.

  • emotional - this occurs when someone is undergoing extreme emotions or is trying to cope with things such as trauma, stress, or relationship issues by numbing their pain or deflecting their feelings.
  • physical - people engaging in PCP use often do so for the recreational effects, or to "feel good." Associating that good feeling to addiction medicine leads to worsening drug abuse.
  • psychological - when a person is suffering from a mental health disorder, they may resort to drug use as their means of "getting off" or self-medicating to feel better about themselves. This is usually the case with people suffering from depression or anxiety.

While someone may suffer from drug abuse, never forget that there are available means to end this. There are various programs offered by a treatment center to help address these challenges. Some of them may include:

  • family therapy - involving the family in an individual's recovery may prove to be helpful as family members get to talk to their loved ones about their addiction problem as well as becoming a part of the solution in helping them become sober long-term.
  • ongoing peer support - having mental health companions helps an individual to avoid relapse. These companions also serve as a guide for them especially post-rehab when transitioning to the real world.
  • behavioral therapy - evidence-based behavior therapies influence the change in attitude towards addiction while helping them evaluate and process their relationship with their substance dependence problem. Living in recovery homes post-treatment also helps people become consistent with their sobriety.

Seeking the advice of your specialist or other qualified healthcare provider will allow you to choose the appropriate addiction treatment program that is more suited to your situation and your recovery needs.

How To Get Help from PCP Addiction?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who have fallen prey to addiction. Recovery partners like Transcend Recovery Community provide ample support to various mental health disorders alongside advanced recovery systems made possible by its affiliate programs.

Finding help wherever you may be located shouldn't be a problem as there are many locations available around the country, from the east to the west coast—covering major cities such as Houston, Los Angeles, and New York.

With a capable team of mental health and recovery specialists, you are in good hands. Take the first step and contact us today by sending us a message/e-mail. Our counselors are standing by to help you with everything you need to know.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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