How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

Phencyclidine, also known as PCP or "Angel Dust," is a powerful hallucinogenic drug known for its profound impact on the human body and mind. For those who have used PCP, understanding how long the drug stays in the system is crucial to grasp. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of PCP, its effects, and the various factors influencing how long PCP stays in the system.

Delving into PCP: A Comprehensive Overview

Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a white crystalline powder initially developed as an anesthetic in the 1950s. However, it was discontinued for medical use due to its severe side effects. The recreational use of PCP gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s due to its hallucinogenic properties, with various street names like "Angel Dust" and "Sherm."

What Exactly is PCP?

PCP is a dissociative drug acting as a hallucinogen and tranquilizer. It interferes with the actions of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, in the central nervous system. This disruption leads to altered perception, hallucinations, and mood and behavior changes.

PCP comes in various forms, including powder, pills, and liquid. Users typically ingest it orally, smoke it, or dissolve it in a liquid and inject it intravenously. The method of administration influences how long PCP stays in the system.

Tracing the History of PCP

Developed as an anesthetic in the 1950s, PCP's use was discontinued due to severe side effects, including hallucinations, agitation, and violent behavior. PCP entered the recreational drug scene in the 1960s and 1970s, gaining notoriety for its association with violent crimes.

The Impact of PCP on the Human Body

PCP can cause a range of effects on the human body, both short-term and long-term. In the short term, PCP can cause hallucinations, distorted perceptions of reality, delusions, and a sense of detachment. Long-term use can lead to more severe consequences, including memory loss, cognitive impairment, and even psychosis.

The Journey: How Long Does PCP Stay in Your System?

Once PCP enters the body, it undergoes various processes that determine how long it stays in the system. These processes can provide insight into the factors influencing PCP's presence in the body.

The Absorption and Distribution of PCP

After ingestion, PCP is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body, including the brain, where it exerts its psychoactive effects. The speed of absorption and distribution can depend on various factors, such as the method of administration and the individual’s metabolism.

The Metabolism of PCP

The liver primarily metabolizes PCP. Here, enzymes break down PCP into various metabolites that can be excreted from the body. The specific metabolic pathways can vary among individuals, affecting the rate at which PCP is eliminated from the system.

PCP Excretion

Once PCP and its metabolites are formed, they are eliminated from the body through various routes, including urine, feces, sweat, and breath. The majority of PCP is excreted unchanged in the urine. The excretion process can take time and can be influenced by factors such as hydration, kidney function, and individual metabolism.

Factors Influencing How Long PCP Stays in Your System

The length of PCP in the system can vary from person to person. Several factors can influence how long the drug stays in the body and can be detected through tests. These factors include:

Dosage and Frequency of Use

The dosage and frequency of PCP use can impact how long it remains detectable in the body. Higher doses of PCP can take longer to be eliminated, and frequent use can lead to the accumulation of the drug in the body.

Individual Metabolism and Health Factors

Individual differences in metabolism play a crucial role in determining how long PCP stays in the system. Health factors, such as kidney function and hydration levels, can also affect PCP excretion.

Hydration and Diet's Role

Staying hydrated is essential for the body’s natural detoxification processes. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can support overall health and assist in efficient metabolism and elimination of drugs.

Detecting PCP in the Body

Various methods can be used to detect the length of PCP in your system. These include urine tests, blood tests, hair tests, and saliva tests. Each method has a different detection window for PCP, varying from a few hours to several days or even weeks.

Detecting PCP in the Body

Various methods can be used to detect the presence of PCP in the body, providing valuable information for medical professionals, employers, and law enforcement. Let's explore some of these methods:

Urine Tests for PCP

Urine tests are commonly used to detect PCP in the body. These tests can identify PCP and its metabolites in the urine. The detection window for PCP in urine can vary but is typically within a few days to a week following use. However, in chronic users, PCP can be detectable for a longer period.

Blood Tests for PCP

Blood tests can also be used to detect PCP in the body. However, PCP has a relatively short detection window in the blood, typically within 24 to 48 hours after use. Blood tests are more suitable for immediate or recent PCP use, such as in cases of intoxication or accidents.

Hair Tests for PCP

Hair tests provide a longer detection window for PCP. The drug and its metabolites can be detected in hair samples for a significantly longer period, sometimes up to 90 days or more. Hair tests are often used to detect past PCP use, as the drug remains trapped in the hair follicles as they grow.

In conclusion, the duration of PCP's presence in the body can vary depending on factors such as dosage, frequency of use, individual metabolism, and health factors. Understanding these factors can help individuals, healthcare professionals, and law enforcement agencies assess the use and potential risks associated with PCP. If you or someone you know is struggling with PCP use, seeking professional help is recommended to ensure a safe and healthy recovery


In the end, understanding "how long does PCP stay in your system" is critical when dealing with potential PCP addiction or recovery. With this knowledge, individuals can make informed decisions about their health and treatment options. Remember, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don't hesitate to seek help. There are numerous resources available to help you on your path to recovery.


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