As in so many areas of the country, we have a lot of trouble with methamphetamine abuse. It was not always so. Years ago, the drug of choice in our fair city was phencyclidine or PCP. It is what we refer to as a dissociative drug, meaning that it chemically disconnects the brain from the rest of the body. People who took too much PCP were especially difficult to take care of because they could act crazy, sometimes with apparently superhuman strength.
One night the medics and police brought in one such patient. It took several fire fighters, medics and police to get him tied to the gurney with leather restraints.
After heavy sedation to control his thrashing, he slept for hours. When he woke up, he denied any psychiatric or drug abuse history. He said everything started that night after he finished off a partially smoked joint he found sitting around the apartment. He denied knowing there might have been PCP in the joint though that was a common way to ingest it.
As I was discharging him, he asked me if using a Vick’s nasal inhaler would help clear the PCP from his system. I had never heard of that before. The fact that he would ask such a thing called into question his insistence that his PCP ingestion was completely accidental.
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