IF IT WEREN’T FOR PCP
BY TANA HUTTON
In the news recently, a 56 year old man stabbed his79 year old mother to death after a night of using cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP). According to the statement he readily provided to police, he was already high from cocaine when he was offered two sticks of PCP. While high off drug cocktail, he began to hear voices that told him to grab a kitchen knife and kill his mother. The elderly woman was found murdered in her home the next morning and he was arrested at a bus stop for an unrelated warrant. He stated in court that if it hadn’t been for PCP, his mother would still be here.
According to the State of Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), phencyclidine is a white crystalline powder with a distinctive bitter chemical taste and was developed in the 1950’s as a intravenous anesthetic. It’s use was discontinued in 1965 because it was found that patients often became agitated, delusional and irrational when recovering from its anesthetic effects. It is still used as an animal tranquilizer.
PCP can be swallowed, smoked, snorted or injected and is often laced on marijuana or tea leaves (known as “Leaf) with amphetamines. The high is described as being pleasant about half of the time with feelings of euphoria and relaxation. It is also known to alleviate pain.
The lows of PCP are where the true danger lies. A number of negative effects can be experienced, sometimes for up to six (6) weeks. Long term use of PCP has been known to result in speech difficulties, depression and weight loss. Regular use of PCP can result in the use of fine motor skills and short term memory. Interaction between PCP and other depressants such as alcohol
can lead to coma or death.
The side effects of PCP are:
· Slurred speech
· Increased heart rate
· Blurred eyesight
· Personality changes
· Increased blood pressure
· Change in body awareness
The use of PCP is an ever growing concern in our community due to the frequent use among teenagers and young adults, in spite of the dangerous lows and side effects. Coupled with the mental health crisis and lack of viable gun control, the true and lasting effects of the PCP use in the black community is rife with negativity.
The Bible tells us that the enemy is defeated by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony (Revelations 12:11). On October 20, 2013, the night of Sweetest Day, my youngest brother, who was a frequent PCP user killed himself and his wife in front of his eldest daughter. He’d allegedly been using PCP throughout the weekend and had had an accident in the car. Afraid that his wife would leave him for yet another incident resulting from his drug use, and that he’d eventually be arrested for DWI, his drug induced mind convinced him that his best choice was to end their lives. With his eldest daughter looking on and his two other children, parents and youngest sister
in bedrooms nearby, he shot them both to death. The tragedy blew our entire worlds apart but we can’t blame PCP. If my brother had not chosen to use PCP, he and my sister would still be here.
Countless other horrific crimes and tragedies have occurred when people chose to use PCP. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the heinous crimes and tragic incidents occurring at the hand of those using the drug. It is a dangerous hallucinogen that promotes sexual deviancy, homicidal and suicidal tendencies. I even suspect that a large number of recently reported sex crimes are products of PCP usage. Loved ones of those using have little to no idea of the potential for violence that accompanies the drug.
In America today, the government is focused on opiate use because it’s use is adversely affecting white suburban youth and young people. As is the norm, issues occurring in the black community are minimized or not addressed in major public forums. A call for action is needed. Now.
The next time there is a story about some naked guy running the streets, some young girl being boldly dragged off the street and sexually assaulted, or a heinous murder committed in our community, please consider the fact that the perpetrator was probably high off PCP.
If it wasn’t for the use of PCP, a lot of our loved ones would still be here and a lot of our youth would be free to enjoy life and that more abundantly.
But if we continue to be silent about the PCP problem in the black community, we will continue to lose loved ones to violence, jail and mental illness. Let’s address this issue now, before we’re sitting here tomorrow, contemplating the merits of “What if…