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What Is Truth serum?

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    Posted: 26 Aug 2009 at 11:08pm
What Is Truth serum?

Thiopental is still used in some places as a truth serum.  The barbiturates as a class decrease higher cortical brain functioning. Some psychiatrists hypothesize that because lying is more complex than telling the truth, suppression of the higher cortical functions may lead to the uncovering of the "truth". However, the reliability of confessions made under thiopental is dubious; the drug tends to make subjects chatty and cooperative with interrogators, but a practiced liar or someone who has a false story firmly established would still be quite able to lie while under the influence of the drug.

Psychiatrists have used thiopental to desensitize patients with phobias,and to "facilitate the recall of painful repressed memories." One psychiatrist who worked with thiopental is Professor Jan Bastiaans, who used this procedure to help release trauma in victims of the Nazis.

The usual dose range for induction of anesthesia using thiopental is from 3 to 7 mg/kg; however, there are many factors that can alter this. Premedication with sedatives such as benzodiazepines or clonidine will reduce requirements, as do specific disease states and other patient factors.

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