People use PCP intentionally for various reasons. It is a mind-altering drug, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. When phencyclidine acts on the brain, it changes a person’s mood and behavior. The drug can prompt hallucinations in the form of realistic sights, sounds, and feelings that do not have a basis in reality. Individuals also take PCP to experience separation from their body and its surroundings. This can make a person feel like they are floating, uninhibited, and have no fear. People often admit to being able to think more clearly after taking phencyclidine.
Information from NHTSA states that most users of PCP stick to intermittent use; however, people may also develop tolerance to the drug and use it daily. When one becomes addicted to phencyclidine, they often resort to drug-seeking behaviors that are characteristic of addiction.
The onset of PCP’s effects is quite rapid; they take hold within 1-5 minutes when PCP is smoked or injected, and within 30 minutes if taken orally or snorted. It can take 4-6 hours for the major effects to decline, and a person may not fully return to their normal state for 24 hours.