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|Injection, insufflation, smoking, oral|
|Onset of action||2 to 60 min|
|Biological half-life||7–46 hours|
|Duration of action||6 to 48 hours|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||243.387 g/mol|
|3D model (Jmol)||Interactive image|
|See also: data page|
|(what is this?)|
Phencyclidine (PCP), also known as angel dust and Sernyl among others, is a dissociative drug. PCP was brought to market in the 1950s as an anesthetic pharmaceutical drug but was taken off the market in 1965 due to the high prevalence of dissociative hallucinogenic side effects. Moreover, the discovery of ketamine by Parke-Davis researchers was thought to represent a better-tolerated alternative for use as an anesthetic medication. Since this time a number of synthetic derivatives of PCP have been sold as dissociative drugs for recreational and non-medical use.
In chemical structure, PCP is a member of the arylcyclohexylamine class, and, in pharmacology, it is a member of the family of dissociative anesthetics. PCP works primarily as an NMDA receptor antagonist, where it blocks the activity of the NMDA receptor. As an addictive drug, PCP is associated with compulsive abuse.
PCP began to emerge as a recreational drug in major cities in the United States in 1967. In 1978, People magazine and Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes called PCP the country's "number one" drug problem. Although recreational use of the drug had always been relatively low, it began declining significantly in the 1980s. In surveys, the number of high school students admitting to trying PCP at least once fell from 13% in 1979 to less than 3% in 1990.
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