Abstract The effects of buspirone in treating cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP) withdrawal were studied. Withdrawal symptoms of these two street-drugs are thought to be due to norepinephrine, dopamine and possibly serotonin depletion. Buspirone acts by enhancing dopaminergic and noradrenergic firing as well by suppressing serotonergic activity. Thirty-two cocaine abusers and 24 PCP abusers were withdrawn over a 30-day period. Half of each group received buspirone 10 mg t.i.d. and the other half 10 mg placebo t.i.d. In the cocaine group, buspirone was significantly more effective from the fifth day onward. In the PCP group, significant improvement was seen on the thirtieth day. Delayed effectiveness in PCP is thought due to its actions at other neurotransmitter sites.