Angle Dust Term Paper

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Angel Dust

Phencyclidine or PCP is a dissociative anesthetic developed in the 1950s for use in surgery (NIDA 2006). It was later discovered to be unsafe so that its use was discontinued (Hess 2003). It is a white, crystalline powder, which dissolves in water and alcohol. It is manufactured in the form of pills, capsules, powders or liquids. The products may be colored differently and taken by mouth, snorted, sprinkled on marijuana, tobacco, parsley, smoked or injected. In 1957, Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals began testing it again as an anesthetic or painkiller and renamed it into Sernyl. It proved effective but it also produced hallucinations, rambled speech and delirium. The company stopped manufacturing it in 1965. But seeking to continue its production as a drug, the company produced and marketed it again as an animal tranquiller under the new name of Sernylan. But in the late 60s, it found its way into the streets of San Francisco as the "Peace Pill" and the "hog" in New York City. Reports of its ill effects on users came out and killed the market in both cities. In the 70s, it assumed other names, such as Angel Dust, Horse Tranq, and Embalming Fluid (Hess).

PCP was federally classified as Schedule II (NIDA 2005). It continues to be in this category because of the abuse associated with its use (NIDA et al. 2008). All manufactured phencyclidine today has to be secretly and illicitly produced. As an illicit product, it contains many contaminates due to its shadowy operations. Its color changes when dissolved in water from tan to brown. Its consistency also changes from powder to mass (NIDA et al.).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Angle Dust Assignment

The user is often taken to emergency rooms on account of overdose or severe and unpleasant side effects (NIDA 2006). It is in this setting that he often turns violent, very dangerous to others or suicidal. The hospital or facility staff often needs to intervene to keep the setting calm and cannot leave the user alone. Its long-term use can become addicting. It can develop psychological dependence, craving and compulsiveness for the drug. The user may also experience memory loss and difficulty in thinking and speaking and loss of weight. The symptoms or experience can continue up to a year after the drug is discontinued (NIDA).

It is not easy to detect a PCP user. One indication is his varied state of consciousness (NIDA et al. 2008). He exhibits a radical and unpredictable behavior change. He stops when talking and then continues after a while. He may move from one topic to another or become blank. Because PCP is illegal, its potency or impact cannot be strictly determined. But the general agreement is that using PCP is like playing the hallucinogenic Russian roulette. Compared with other drugs, which possess tranquilizing properties, PCP creates violence or rage towards others or the user himself. Its other names are dust, crystal, cyclones, elephant tranquilizer, super weed, mint weed, mist, money dust, rocket fuel, goon, surfer, KE scuffle and Supergrass (NIDA et al.).

PCP is most often smoked or snorted in powder, tablet or capsule form (NDIC 2003). More and more users dip it into the leaf of marijuana, mint, parsley or oregano and then smoke them. People of all ages use the drug. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse showed that approximately 6 million U.S. residents, aged 12 and older, have used the drug at least once in their lifetime. Many of these users are teenagers and young adults: 225,000 of them aged 12 to 17 and 777,000 aged 18 to 25. The authorities are particularly concerned with its use by high school students, 3% of whom are seniors, according to survey (NDIC). Many of them are taking it unwittingly (Schmetzer and McGrath 2006). The 1986 National Institute of Drug Abuse Survey of high school seniors revealed that more than 12% of such students had used hallucinogenic drugs, which could contain PCP. PCP was first discovered as the "Peace Pill" at the Heigh-Ashbury district of San Francisco for producing "bad trips." Distribution grew in the mid 70s with the introduction of different packaging and marketing schemes. In the 80s, it was the most commonly used hallucinogen among the 15 to 25 age group. PCP has been declared illegal, but it can easily and cheaply be manufactured by one who is knowledgeable in organic chemistry (Schmetzer and McGrath).

PCP takes effect according to the form in which it is taken (Schmetzer and McGrath 2006). If injected, the effects begin in a few seconds. When sprinkled over dried leaves of parsley, oregano or marijuana, it is smoked and the effects can be felt in 2 to 5 minutes, but reaching a peak in 15 to 30 minutes. When taken orally in pill form or mixed with food or drinks, the effects can be felt within 30 minutes, peaking in 2 to 5 hours. Its pain-killing or anesthetic properties prevent the user from feeling pain during the experience (Schmetzer and McGrath). PCP has come under the common aliases of "Angel Dust" and "THC (Turney 2002)." Angel Dust is a combination of heroin and cocaine. What dealers do to make easy money is to swap PCP with one or other drug until the first combination was muddled and forgotten. Otherwise, it is sold as THC, the main ingredient of which is marijuana to which it is similar. It acts as an anesthetic, stimulant, depressant and hallucinogen all at the same time, not just as a hallucinogen. PCP is a class on its own. Some describe it as a deliriant or a dissociative anesthetic. The latter produces psychological detachment and stops pain. Whatever its description, it differs from other prohibited drugs because of the unpredictability and utter weirdness of its effects. These effects differ according to dosage. Low doses are from 3 to 8 mg and often intoxicate, impair muscle coordination, speech and eye movement. Moderate or larger doses are from 8 to 12 mg and raise heart rate and blood pressure, and other symptoms previously mentioned, particularly distorted pace called "zombie walking." Higher doses present the most serious or fatal problems, including coma and death. It must be emphasized that while the effects of low doses last a few hours, those of higher doses can persist for many days. PCP users feel that low doses are all right. Low-dose effects resemble those of marijuana so that a user tends to smoke more and more of it in order to sustain a high. But while marijuana or pot affects the joints, PCP can produce unpredictable mood shifts and bizarre delusions and hallucinations. The user turns violent and aggressive and the condition can be controlled only in a medical facility. An LSD user can talked out of it but a PCP user can be so detached he cannot hear what a doctor or another medical supporter says. He can also be very paranoid. PCP cases are always emergency cases (Turney).

When ingested, PCP is stored by the body in the muscles and fatty tissues and the potential harm it can cause is unpredictable (Turney 2002). All kinds of problem can develop even when the use is stopped. PCP builds up in the body and raises tolerance, requiring increased doses each time in order to attain the desired effects. Increasing doses, in turn, can lead to overdose. PCP is also ultimately a depressant. As such, it slows down breathing and the heart beat. Taking it with downers like alcohol can likewise result in overdose. The "behavioral toxicity" of PCP is the real concern. This refers to the useless and crazy but extremely dangerous results of a user's behavior when "high." These include car crashes and drowning. There too are the long-term emotional consequences of PCP use. If LSD flashbacks are psychological, PCP effects are physical and produce actual drug effects. These effects have been reported to linger weeks or months after the last use (Turney).

The use of PCP and other illicit drugs occurs in several stages and young people appear to progress in these than adults do (University of Maryland Medical Center 2008). The first stage is experimental. Young people's peers usually try it out for recreation or for the purpose of defying parents or other authority figures. The second stage is regular use. The user increasingly evades school or work and feels apprehensive about losing the source of the drug. He resorts to the drug to solve or handle negative feelings. He separates from friends and family. He gives up peers for those who use PCP regularly. He even shows off or takes pride that he has increased tolerance or capability to handle the drug itself. The next stage is daily preoccupation. He loses normal motivation and turns indifferent towards school and work. There is obvious behavioral change. His preoccupation over the drug takes priority over relationships. He gets involved in secret forbidden behavior. He may even peddle the drug itself in order to secure his new habit. He may also use or increase… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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