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Drugs of Abuse

Drug Type: PCP

Other hallucinogens include Phencyclidine (PCP)

Peyote-a variety of cactus grown in Mexico and southern Texas

Psilocybin- wild mushrooms that can also be grown indoors

Other Names: Phencyclidine- PCP, angel dust, rocket fuel, killer weed, embalming fluid Peyote-cactus, buttons, cactus buttons, mescal, mescaline, mescalito Psilocybin-mushrooms, shrooms, mushroom tea, magic mushrooms

What it looks like:

  • PCP: Crystalline powder ranging in color from tan to brown
  • Liquid form (PCP powder dissolved in ether, which is highly flammable) ranging in color from clear to yellowish
  • Peyote: The plant is grayish-green and small. It has no spines.
  • Psilocybin: The fresh psilocybin mushroom looks like any other but when it is broken, the bruised area turns bluish. Dried mushrooms are tan/brown, wilted and packaged in plastic bags. May be found pulverized, in powder form.

How it is used:

  • PCP: Smoked (often laced on a cigarette), snorted, eaten or injected
  • Peyote: Eaten, smoked, or drunk (boiled into a tea)
  • Psilocybin: Eaten or drunk as a tea

Effect of the drug: PCP: Effects are felt within 2 to 5 minutes depending on method of ingestion and may last up to 48 hours in some cases. Effects are similar to LSD including hallucinations, distortion of sensory perception, mood changes


  • Mood changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Distortion of sensory perception

Psilocybin: Similar but less potent effect than LSD

  • Hallucinations
  • Distortion of sensory perception

Negative Effects/Overdose Effects:


  • Severe mood disorder
  • Violent hostility (of special concern to Law Enforcement)
  • Acute anxiety
  • Drug-induced psychosis similar to schizophrenia
  • Flashbacks
  • Self-inflicted injury is common


  • Difficulty distinguishing illusion from reality, "bad trip"
  • Panic/anxiety


  • "bad trip"
  • panic/anxiety

The biggest danger is that psilocybin mushrooms are almost identical to poisonous varieties. Only an expert could tell the difference. Organ damage and death can occur within hours of eating poisonous mushrooms.

What to look for: Evidence that a person is experiencing hallucinations or loss of control due to changes in sensory perception or mood. Because PCP can cause a loss of sensitivity to pain, PCP users may injure themselves and not know it. Therefore, someone under the influence of PCP should never be left alone. PCP has a strong odor.

Regarding Psilocybin mushrooms: These grow on the underside of piles of cow manure. Users will trespass on private property to find these mushrooms.

Paraphernalia Associated with Drug Use:

  • Pipes
  • Sandwich bags
  • Aluminum foil (used to wrap small quantities of PCP powder)
  • Mortar/Pestle: For grinding the mushrooms
  • Chem-lights, heat lamps, fans or other indoor-grow equipment-mushrooms are frequently grown at home. The spores (which are not illegal) of the mushrooms can be legally purchased through the mail or Internet.

Potential for Abuse: The purity level of PCP can never be determined and so the user risks overdose every time. The greatest danger of PCP is the strong risk of drug-induced psychosis and self-injury or injury to others. PCP users are known to become delusional and violent. These other hallucinogens are less commonly abused than LSD, but equally dangerous.

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