What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

Categories: Health and Medicine

The "truth serum" often appears in action-packed films. One injection of this drug forces the most persistent agents to reveal the most important secrets. Under the influence of the injection, a person answers any questions without being able to hide a single detail. Does this substance really exist and does it work as shown in the movies?

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

We are not being deceived — the "truth serum" actually exists and is used in many countries. In scientific terms, the drug is called sodium thiopental and it refers to anesthetics. When ingested, this compound causes a decrease in the metabolic activity of the brain. Thought processes slow down, and a person falls into a state of inhibition. But can one injection make you give away all the secrets?

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

The "truth Serum" works a little differently than it is shown to us in the movies. To understand what it is, you need to delve a little into the history. Sodium thiopental was first obtained in the early 20th century by chemists from the USA Ernest Volviler and Donali Tabern. As it often happens, scientists were looking for a solution to a completely different problem. They wanted to get an effective painkiller for ophthalmic operations.

At that time, surgeons had to use ether mask anesthesia. Not all patients were suitable for this option - sometimes a trifling operation ended with the death of the patient precisely because of anesthesia. After the injection of sodium thiopental, the person fell asleep for only 15 minutes. After the drug finished acting, the patient woke up and did not feel nausea, weakness and other "charms" associated with the use of ether or chloroform.

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

Sodium thiopental quickly became popular among physicians and sold all over the world. But soon the drug was found to have an interesting side effect. The British doctor J. Stephen Horsley noticed that after the injection of anesthetic, patients began to behave unusually. They became more relaxed and overly talkative. Many of them shared life stories and memories that people prefer to keep secret.

After this discovery, sodium thiopental began to be actively used in psychiatry. With his help, self-contained patients were made more open and sociable. Thanks to injections of the drug, doctors could learn more about the experiences and feelings of patients. There was even a special term "sodium thiopental hypnosis".

When the drug was already being used in full swing in surgery and psychiatry, the scouts found out about it. The CIA quickly found a use for it and began to use it during interrogations. With his help, it was possible to talk terrorists and enemy agents without resorting to physical violence and psychological pressure.

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

In 1951, the CIA launched a project codenamed "Bluebird". Scientists have investigated ways to control the human mind and some other secret directions. In particular, from 1951 to 1953, experiments were conducted to create new personalities, introduce a person into artificial amnesia, create false memories, and work with coding the brain for certain actions.

Later, Bluebird was divided into several directions. One of them was the Artichoke project. In his laboratories, drugs were developed for conducting interrogations and simply for suppressing the will of a person. Many secret compounds were created that acted on the brain no worse than sodium thiopental.

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

Today, sodium thiopental is used in a variety of fields. It is used not only to treat and interrogate. This substance is one of three components used in the United States for execution by lethal injection.

By its nature, sodium thiopental is a barbiturate, that is, a drug that depresses the nervous system. It is part of a large group of substances used for epilepsy, depression, restless states, insomnia, pain syndromes. Barbiturates relax the brain by suppressing the electrical activity of neurons.

It is on this property of the drug that the action of the "truth serum" is based. In a normal state, a person analyzes information before lying. Fake scenarios that may be appropriate in a particular situation are considered. Simply put, lying is much more difficult than telling the truth and the load on the brain is higher.

What is the "truth serum" and how it actually works

Under the action of sodium thiopental, brain activity is greatly reduced. It is impossible to invent something, and it becomes impossible to monitor the realism of lies. This effect is similar to alcohol intoxication, but it more pronounced. A person feels calm, can ask frank questions and is also inclined to answer them.

By itself, the "truth serum" cannot force a person to give out secrets. It simply creates favorable conditions for this. The interrogated person does not want to hide anything, on the contrary, he is ready to speak frankly on any topic. And then specialists who are able to ask questions and extract information even from the delusional speeches of a person injected with thiopental get down to business. So spy films greatly exaggerate the possibilities of the drug, giving it simply supernatural power.

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