Barbiturates: Fact or fiction

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 6:17 am


The truth about truth serum

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, federal investigators discussed the use of truth serum to obtain information from jailed terrorism suspects. The serum is the barbiturate thiopental, which is also known as pentothal sodium. The use of this drug to make a reluctant person talk has been portrayed in movies, books, and on television.

As of April 2002, the federal suspects had not been drugged to obtain information. Pentothal sodium cannot force people to be honest. However, an injection of this barbiturate produces a semiconscious state that is like a hypnotic trance. In that state, people’s inhibitions are lowered. In that relaxed state, people talk more and could reveal something that they wanted to keep secret.


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