Trusted Content

PCP Detection Time – How Long Does PCP (Phencyclidine) Stay In Your System?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 11, 2019

PCP detection time depends on a number of personal factors as well as the test used. Treatment PCP addiction can help a person overcome substance abuse and live a life in recovery.

PCP, also known as phencyclidine, can be detected in the system for around one week after the last dose is taken. PCP, also known as Angel dust, love boat, killer weed, wack, boat, hog, and ozone, to name just a few, is a synthetic street drug composed of 1-phenylcyclohexylpiperidine hydrochloride.

While PCP has not necessarily been deemed an issue like opiates and other more potent drugs, it is still a drug that has the potential for abuse. PCP was originally derived as a surgical anesthetic, but was removed from the medical scene due to patients reacting badly.

PCP can begin working in as little as one to five minutes when smoked. People will continue to feel the high from PCP for four to six hours after taking.

People often use PCP for the effects it has. PCP has the ability to cause:

  • euphoria
  • excitement
  • hallucinations
  • inability to feel pain
  • adrenaline highs
  • “super-human” strength
  • numbness

Taking PCP at a lower dose will have an effect that feels similar to alcohol intoxication. However, taking high doses of PCP can result in agitation, aggression, and violence.

virtual care

Get treatment when
and how you need it.

How Long Can PCP Be Detected In The System?

How long PCP can be detected in someone’s body will depend largely on the type of test used. The following is an estimate for the range of time each type of test can detect PCP in the system.

  • Urine — one to seven days for normal use or up to four weeks for heavy use
  • Saliva — up to ten days after the last dose of PCP is taken
  • Blood — up to 24 hours after taking PCP
  • Hair — up to 90 days after using the drug

Factors That Influence How Long PCP Is Detectable In The System

There are many factors that can determine how long PCP is detectable in the body. The following are factors that most commonly affect PCP detection time:

Health And Age — A person’s overall health can greatly influence how long it takes to eliminate PCP from the system. Someone who is more healthy will be able to rid the body of drugs quicker than someone who is unhealthy. Additionally, younger people tend to be able to metabolize drugs and substances faster than older individuals.

Metabolism — A faster metabolism will typically be able to breakdown PCP and rid the body of the drug faster.

Body Composition — A person who is taller and weighs more will likely take longer to metabolize PCP than someone who is shorter and weighs less.

Taking Other Drugs — Taking other medications or substances along with PCP can also influence how quickly PCP is eliminated from the body. Additionally, drinking alcohol with PCP may also cause the drug to stay in the system longer.

Side Effects And Withdrawal Symptoms Of PCP

Taking PCP at a normal dose will result in increased blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. However, taking larger doses of PCP can have the opposite effect and can be dangerous.

Taking too much PCP can result in:

  • heart arrhythmias
  • seizures
  • muscle stiffness
  • kidney failure
  • death

Long-term use of PCP can also have negative effects, including cognitive and memory problems as well as trouble with speech. Additionally, PCP has numbing properties. This means that someone could become injured while on the drug and not even realize it.

Additionally, withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are more likely to occur for those who take PCP on a regular basis. Symptoms may include:

  • confusion
  • agitation or aggression
  • heightened anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • muscle twitching
  • seizures
  • feeling fearful or uneasy

Is PCP Addictive?

Because PCP has pain-killing properties and also creates feelings of euphoria, the drug has a high abuse rate when used. People who regularly use PCP can become physically and mentally dependent on it.

Those who are addicted to PCP may feel like they cannot go through the day without taking it or may experience symptoms of withdrawal when not on the drug. They may also be unable to control how much PCP they use.

Additionally, people who take PCP can build up a tolerance to the substance. This means that more of the drug is needed to feel the same effect. This can result in heightened physical dependence and health consequences.

What To Do After A Positive PCP Detection Test Result

If you have received a positive drug test for PCP, it can be frustrating, especially if it stands between you and a job. Most positive test results are double checked with a follow-up screening to confirm the drug in the system.

If you or a loved one is addicted to PCP, it’s important to know that help is available. Often, the first step to overcoming an addiction to PCP is to go through a medically supervised detox program. This ensures patients are comfortable and safe throughout the withdrawal process from the drug.

Once the withdrawal process is successfully completed, many people will go on to a formal treatment program such as an inpatient rehab program. These types of addiction programs are often individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient.

To learn more about how long PCP is detectable in the system as well as getting help for addiction to PCP, contact us today.

Cleveland Clinic - Hallucinogens – LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin and PCP

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Substance Use - Phencyclidine (PCP)

Want to get help, but not ready to talk?

You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support to receive:

✅ Resources about addiction and recovery

✅ Info about our treatment process

"*" indicates required fields


Find Treatment For A PCP Addiction Today.
Find Treatment For A PCP Addiction Today.
100% Free and Confidential. Call 888-341-4325

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:


For Immediate Treatment Help Call:
(888) 979-9592