Back in the 1980’s and early 90’s, PCP (or “Angel Dust”) rose to popularity amongst the masses. However, after causing some serious and frightening side effects, the drug quickly faded into the background, and rates of those abusing it diminished significantly. However, according to a new report, angel dust is back in town.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), an organization of the federal government, reported that emergency room visits for angel dust visits increased 400% between 2005 and 2011. Numerically, this breaks down to nearly 61,000 more cases involving this drug within a six-year span.
What are the Dangers of Angel Dust?
These numbers are undoubtedly alarming, primarily because of the many dangers associated with the use of this particular drug. Some of the most pressing symptoms of angel dust abuse can include the following:
- Short-term effects – Short-term effects of angel dust can include hallucinations, out of body experiences, shallow breathing, sweating, numbness in limbs, and lack of muscular coordination. All of these symptoms can cause individuals to experience an increase in potential for physical danger, as well as possible health scares.
- Long-term effects – Those who abuse angel dust for longer periods of time run the risk of experiencing more severe physical and psychological dangers such as memory loss, dependency, trouble with speech, depression, weight loss, cognitive difficulties, and the possible development of mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder).
Abusing angel dust even just one time can cause one or more of these many symptoms to occur, which is often what leads individuals to the emergency room for professional assistance.
Using angel dust on its own can be dangerous enough, however most individuals that abuse this drug find themselves combining it with other drugs, which is incredibly risky. As the trend of combining substances continues to rise, many emergency room doctors are seeing that those patients who enter their doors because of angel dust use are also suffering from the effects of other substances simultaneously.
While these numbers have significantly risen in parts of the country, the use of angel dust nationwide has yet to occur. Through education and proper treatment, the hope is that the newfound interest in an old school drug can be put to rest before more individuals find themselves addicted, in the emergency room, or losing their battle permanently to their abuse.