Ketamine and Phencyclidine

  • Michael F. Weaver
  • Sidney H. Schnoll


Ketamine and phencyclidine are chemically related to each other and have psychotropic effects similar to other prototypical hallucinogens such as lysergic acid diethylamide. Both drugs have been abused since the 1970s and have become popular again in the 2000s, especially among young adults who are active in the club scene. Appealing effects described by users include visual hallucinations and changes in body image. A definitive physiological withdrawal syndrome does not appear to develop after stopping use of ketamine or phencyclidine. Repeated use may result in long-term psychiatric consequences, such as anxiety, depression, or psychosis. The analgesic and dissociative effects may result in injury or even death in users, and emergency department visits by users of these drugs have increased significantly in recent years. Treatment of abuse and dependence is often difficult due to the young age of most users and concurrent polysubstance abuse. This chapter discusses management of the physiological and psychological consequences of use, as well as treatment of addiction.


Ketamine Phencyclidine PCP Hallucinogens Dissociatives Club drugs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Internal Medicine and PsychiatryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Internal Medicine and PsychiatryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Pinney AssociatesWestportUSA

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