TRUTH DRUG \ TRUTH SERUM - A truth drug (or truth serum) is a drug used for the purposes of obtaining accurate information from an unwilling subject, most often by a police, intelligence, or military organization on a prisoner.

Drugs used for this purpose have included ethanol, scopolamine, and the anaesthetic induction agent sodium thiopental (more commonly known as Sodium Pentothal)—all sedatives that interfere particularly with judgment and higher cognitive function. While alcohol is used for this purpose by many individuals in a more innocent sense, it is used by professionals as well.

While fictional accounts of intelligence interrogation give these drugs near magical abilities, information obtained by publicly-disclosed truth drugs has been shown to be highly unreliable, with subjects apparently freely mixing fact and fantasy. Much of the claimed effect relies on the belief of the subject that they cannot tell a lie while under the influence of the drug.

Interest in their use outside intelligence services has declined to negligible levels—though their use has been re-examined after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. It is possible, but thought unlikely by experts in anaesthetics (the drugs most closely resembling truth drugs in common use), that intelligence services do have more effective drugs at their disposal which they have not disclosed.

 


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