What Are the Angel Dust Side Effects?

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Angel dust is often considered one of the more dangerous drugs that are abused both through addiction and recreationally.

What is angel dust made of? Angel dust is a common street name for PCP.

PCP is phencyclidine which is a drug that alters the mind leading to hallucinations in a dissociative state. Angel dust side effects can be noted through various types of hallucinogenic symptoms and will be outlined more in detail later on.

Angel dust effects on the brain are many, ultimately leading to psychological dependence and cravings. Angel dust is addictive and individuals who are struggling with an addiction to it may need not only hospitalization but behavioral treatment in order to get clean.

Continue reading to learn more about angel dust effects not only on the brain but also angel dust side effects and how you can determine if a person is possible using it.

What are the Side Effects of Angel Dust?

Angel dust, the most common street name for the illegal drug phencyclidine (PCP)1 is low on the list of commonly used illicit drugs. However, the effects of angel dust can be devastating. It’s highly addictive physically and causes a great many physical and psychological effects. 

When you are ready to break the chains of addiction, it’s best to enter a safe, medically-supervised drug detox program, like Legacy Healing Center, to begin treatment safely and hopefully reclaim your life free from the clutches of angel dust.

Before we dive into the side effects of angel dust, let’s talk first about what exactly PCP is.

What is Angel Dust?

Angel dust or PCP is a lab-created chemical originally developed in the ‘50s and used for a brief time in the ‘60s as anesthesia for surgical procedures2. However, medical use was quickly discontinued because of the post-op hallucinations and dysphoria (distress, discomfort, otherwise inexplicable uneasiness) that patients experienced. It is still occasionally used in veterinary medicine.

It became illegal and listed as a controlled substance in the 1960s. These same effects are part of what made it a popular street drug in the ‘70s2. Like many other drugs, angel dust has fallen into and out of popularity across the decades. Unlike its common name “angel dust” implies, PCP can be taken in numerous forms.

What is Angel Dust Made Of?

Completely synthetic, meaning it’s all made of chemicals and nothing found in nature, angel dust is made of a variety of combined chemicals. Some of the ingredients include potassium cyanide, bromobenzene, ether, and hydrochloric acid. You may recognize some of these ingredients. You may also realize that, while some of them have other industrial applications, they are also potentially hazardous and harmful to humans. 

Identifying PCP

Pure PCP is a snow-white crystalline powder, but it is often cut with other substances to increase profits. By the time it reaches consumers, it is usually yellowish-clear to yellowish-gold in color. PCP can also be found in pill or tablet form, liquid form, or crystals. It can be snorted, smoked, ingested, or injected1. It is also frequently used with other drugs, including laced into marijuana. Joints and tobacco cigarettes are sometimes dipped into liquid PCP, then smoked to be used. 

Angel Dust Side Effects

What are the effects of angel dust and PCP in other forms? First, we’ll talk about the reasons people take it – the effects people are after. Then we’ll go into the unintended side effects and potential consequences that come from either short- or long-term PCP use.

PCP is a hallucinogenic drug. When you take PCP, you may feel:

  • Euphoric (intensely happy or excited)
  • Omnipotent (having unlimited power)
  • Superhuman strength
  • Invincible
  • Delusional
  • “Floaty”
  • Detached from your body or environment 1,3.

These feelings of invincibility or superhuman strength do not actually make a person under the influence of PCP stronger. But because they feel that way, they may take dangerous risks or make extremely poor decisions they would not if they were of a sound mind. 

They may push the limits of their bodies that they wouldn’t otherwise. While PCP can be physically dangerous, many have become injured or killed because of behaviors they engaged in while in the throes of PCP, such as 

  • Believing they can fly
  • Walking into traffic
  • Self-mutilation
  • Punching glass or other dangerous objects, or 
  • Instigating or participating in violence 1,3.

How Angel Dust Affects the Body

PCP is not a safe drug. Even if you don’t engage in risky behaviors, there’s a long list of possible side effects. PCP affects you both physically and psychologically. It can damage your brain and your body. Some psychological side effects include:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Violent behavior

Physical effects may also occur. They can be mild, such as 

  • Sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Or the physical side effects can become severe and potentially life-threatening. Some of these effects, many of which require emergency medical attention or hospitalization include:

  • Hyperthermia
  • Seizures
  • Low oxygen in the blood
  • Increase heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increase breathing rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Coma
  • Death1,3

PCP is highly addictive physically, as well as psychologically. This makes it extremely difficult to stop on your own. Find a drug rehab in Florida to give yourself the best chance of detoxing safely, withdrawing completely, and finding encouragement, support, and tools to live your life without PCP.

Treatment Options

When you’re ready to break free from the shackles of angel dust or other drugs, there are amazing treatment, therapy, and rehab options available. At Legacy Healing Centers, we understand that a person’s first use typically starts as a way to cope with deeper issues.But we are committed to treating the person, not the disease. Our goal is to help you find fulfillment and happiness in a healthy life free from PCP and other substances.  

Your treatment assessment will be done upon your arrival at Legacy Healing Centers. Once your need is determined, you’ll be assigned a level of treatment care. There are a few levels, including

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): An in-patient, residential program — which could include medically supervised detox to help you safely manage the physical angel dust withdrawal side effects. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): A step-down, which could be done living in the residential community or on a commuting basis. It’s a great option for those who’ve completed PHP or another in-patient program but are not fully equipped or ready to reintegrate into daily life without PCP. aren’t quite ready to face the struggles of daily life without PCP.  However, it does allow more flexibility to meet work and school obligations.
  • Outpatient Program: Provides ongoing therapy, 12-step programs, and other activities to help those who have returned to daily life maintain and continue to grow in their sobriety and wellness.
  • Family Program: Help your loved ones understand the struggle of the disease and helps them on their own road to emotional wellness.

Just as your PCP use didn’t take over in a moment, your recovery is not instant. It’s a process. The road to sobriety and freedom from drugs or alcohol is not always smooth and without challenges. The same truth applies to those who love you. And providing the families with support is just one more way Legacy Healing ultimately provides YOU with support. 

Get Help Today

You are so much more than your drug use disorder. You matter. You are worth getting well. And we can help. All you have to do is take that first brave step and contact us at 888-858-0137. When you call, you’ll talk to a treatment specialist who can guide you to a treatment center near you. 

From the first call through walking through those doors, you’ll be treated with respect and dignity. No judgment, no shame. Just compassionate, caring, and understanding Ladies and Gentlemen, helping Ladies and Gentlemen.

Break free from PCP. Start today.


  • Bey, T., & Patel, A. (2007, February). Phencyclidine intoxication and adverse effects: A clinical and pharmacological review of an illicit drug. The California journal of emergency medicine. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859735/ 
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Home – books – NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books 
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, June 3). Commonly used drugs charts. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/commonly-used-drugs-charts#pcp 

Reach out to the team at Legacy Healing Center today at 888-597-3547.