OK Expert: PCP Can Make Some People Feel 'Invincible'

Wednesday, October 12th 2016, 7:04 pm
By: Tess Maune

We're learning more about effects of PCP, one day after the medical examiner confirmed Terence Crutcher had PCP in his system when a Tulsa police officer shot him.

Drug experts say PCP pumps adrenaline through the body and makes people feel invincible.

Drug and alcohol counselors at Clay Crossing say someone under the influence of drugs might feel like a super-human - and the medical examiner says the amount of PCP in Terence Crutcher's system was enough to have intoxicating effects.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

Phencyclidine, known as PCP, first made its appearance in operating rooms in the 1950s.

Drug therapist, Brandi Johnson said, “It was used as an anesthesia sedative for surgeries, and because of all the negative side effects, it went away then.”

But it found its way to the streets, and Johnson said PCP's negative side effects give a high some people crave, almost like an out of body experience.

“They could be disconnected from reality,” she said. “They may think God's talking to them and telling them to do things.”
Tess: “Paranoia?”
Johnson: “Yes.”

The medical examiner says the amount of PCP in Crutcher's system the night he died wasn't lethal but was an intoxicating level.

Before officers got to the scene the night Crutcher died, a witness reported to 911 dispatchers that Crutcher said he thought his SUV was going to blow up.

Johnson said, “All of the sudden, reality is just lost. Don't know where they are, don't know who they are.”

A police report we received from Tulsa Community College through an open records request says Crutcher was on campus looking through classroom windows about three hours before he was killed.

A professor said Crutcher was sweating profusely and even made a comment about it before he left campus.

An increase is body temperature is another side effect of PCP, Johnson said, “They've been known to just undress because they're getting so hot.”

Johnson said users can become anxious and unpredictable.

“They may believe they are faster than they are, stronger than they are, and they feel like they're invulnerable - like nothing can touch them,” she said. “They get that superhuman feeling and they could be shot or stabbed and never know that they were because it's the adrenaline of it.”

The ME’s Chief Forensic Toxicologist said it’s highly probable Crutcher also had tenocyclidine in his system but said it’s not possible to confirm as positive at this time due to the delay in getting certified reference material.