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PCP-related emergency department visits rose 400 percent over six years

December 06, 2013

Hospital emergency department visits related to  the dangerous hallucinogenic drug phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP or “angel dust,” increased more than 400 percent between 2005 and 2011 (from 14,825 to 75,538 visits), according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The report, entitled Emergency Department Visits Involving Phencyclidine (PCP), is based on findings from the 2005 to 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). DAWN is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency department visits and drug-related deaths to track the impact of drug use, misuse, and abuse in the United States. Key findings from the report include:
  • The largest increase in PCP-related emergency department visits was seen among patients aged 25 to 34, who accounted for an increase of more than 500 percent from 2005 (5,556 visits) to 2011 (34,329 visits).  In 2011, people in this age group represented nearly half (45 percent) of all emergency department visits involving PCP. 
  • PCP-related emergency visits overwhelmingly involved males. In 2011, approximately two thirds (69 percent) of PCP-related ED visits were made by males.
  • The complete survey findings are available on the SAMHSA Web site.
  • Read the SAMHSA announcement here.
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