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Treatment Options for PCP Addiction

PCP — also known as angel dust or rocket fuel on the street — can lead to addiction. The drug is a hallucinogen, so it isn’t associated with physical dependence like other drugs of abuse, but it can lead to compulsive use.

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Treatment options for PCP addiction include medical detox, inpatient and outpatient rehab, behavioral therapy, and aftercare.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Addiction to PCP?

As with any addiction, PCP addiction requires tailored treatment. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment approach that will work.[1] 

Care must be individualized to the unique needs of each person in treatment, including the severity of the addiction, the presence of any co-occurring disorders, and their history of addiction. 

Here are some of the treatment options that might be part of your care plan for PCP addiction:

Medical Detox

While PCP abuse doesn’t result in physical dependence, your body still needs to process the drug. Psychological dependence can be strong, so it’s important to have support during the withdrawal process.

With medical detox, you’ll have support from medical professionals as you go through withdrawal. You may be administered medications to ease specific symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety or insomnia. You’ll also have therapeutic care around the clock, so you’ll have support when you are tempted to relapse. 

Inpatient Treatment

This is the most intense level of treatment for PCP addiction. You’ll live in a treatment center for weeks or months, and you’ll fully focus on recovery from your addiction. 

This is a good choice for people who have had previous attempts at rehab and later relapse as well as those with severe addictions and co-occurring mental health issues.

Outpatient Treatment

This is the most common form of treatment for PCP addiction. You’ll live at home and visit a treatment center a few times per week for therapy sessions (group and individual), skill-building workshops, educational sessions, and other activities. 

The intensity of outpatient treatment can vary greatly, ranging from standard outpatient treatment to intensive outpatient programs.


This is where the bulk of your addiction treatment takes place. Your therapist may incorporate a range of therapeutic approaches into your sessions, addressing the underlying causes of your PCP addiction and stressors in your life that contribute to your substance abuse. 

One of the most popular and effective approaches to addiction recovery that fits within this category is cognitive behavioral therapy.[2] This form of therapy combines principles from the cognitive and behavioral schools of psychology. 

You’ll acquire a new skill set that allows you to think more effectively and build self-confidence. It’s based on a more rational way of thinking about yourself and the events that occur in your life. This translates into a decrease in destructive behaviors, like PCP abuse.

The Importance of Support in Recovery

After you exit a formal treatment program, your recovery journey is not over. PCP addiction is a chronic condition, and you must remain vigilant in your recovery efforts to prevent relapse.[3] Support groups are often part of a solid aftercare plan.

Support groups come in many formats, and the most commonly known is the 12-step model, such as that used in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The principle is that you get support from your peers, and you give support to them as well.[4] Many groups set up a sponsor program where new members receive guidance and help from more seasoned members.

While there aren’t support groups that are dedicated specifically to recovery from DMT addiction, you can benefit from participation in general addiction recovery groups. Here are some examples:

  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • S.O.S. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety)
  • SMART Recovery
  • LifeRing Secular Recovery

In addition to in-person groups, many peer support groups are available online. This allows you to access support no matter where you are. Many people in recovery from DMT addiction end up incorporating both in-person and online meetings into their aftercare planning.

Updated May 7, 2024
  1. Hilton TF, Pilkonis PA. The key to individualized addiction treatment is comprehensive assessment and monitoring of symptoms and behavioral change. Behav Sci (Basel). 2015;5(4):477-495. Published 2015 Oct 30. doi:10.3390/bs5040477
  2. McHugh RK, Hearon BA, Otto MW. Cognitive behavioral therapy for substance use disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010;33(3):511-525. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2010.04.012
  3. Dennis M, Scott CK. Managing addiction as a chronic condition. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2007;4(1):45-55. doi:10.1151/ascp074145
  4. Tracy K, Wallace SP. Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction. Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2016;7:143-154. Published 2016 Sep 29. doi:10.2147/SAR.S81535
  5. Mokhtari MR, Alavi M, Pahlavanzadeh S, Weimand BM, Visentin D, Cleary M. Comparison of the effectiveness of a 12 step substance use recovery program on quality of life. Nursing & Health Sciences. 2019;22(2):390-397. doi:10.1111/nhs.12668
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