Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Truth Serums, Truth Drugs - Mumbai Attacks 26 November 2008

Mumbai Attacks - November 2008

There Has Been Much Chatter Recently about using Truth Drugs with the only living terrorist remaining, from the Recent Mumbai Attack.


Truth drugs are considered 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. It has also been said that the use of a truth serum such as sodium amobarbital does not increase truth-telling, but merely increases talking; therefore, truth is more likely to be revealed, but so are lies.

A truth drug (or truth serum) is a psychoactive drug used to attempt to obtain information from an unwilling (and willing) subject. The use of truth drugs is classified as a form of torture according to international law. If someone is a compulsive liar, surely it is the only way when lives are at stake?

So-called truth drugs have included ethanol, scopolamine, temazepam, and various barbiturates including the anesthetic induction agent sodium thiopental (commonly known as sodium pentothal): all are sedatives that interfere particularly with judgment and higher cognitive function.

The one remaining terrorist from the Mumbai Attacks, appears to be a man of many names: Azam Amir Kasav, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, Ajmal Qasab, Ajmal Amir Kamal, Ajmal Amir Kasab, Azam Ameer Qasab, Mohammad Ajmal Qasam, Ajmal Mohammed Amir Kasab, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasar and Amjad Amir Kamaal, according to different media sources.


Treating Phobias, Addictions, Alcoholics and Smokers

..........grounded her entire life by aviophobia (fear of flying) so acute that she couldn't even look at an airplane or go near an airport. Then she heard about Dr. Balasa Prasad, a Mount Vernon anesthesiologist who was treating phobias and addictions using Sodium Pentothal: Truth Serum.

Dr. Prasad, a British-trained anesthesiologist, has been running a behavior modification clinic for 21 years to treat phobias, addictions and psychological disorders ranging from impotence to bronchial asthma and migraine headaches.

Dr. Prasad, who has kept informal statistics of his patients' outcomes since 1990, claims a success rate of 95 percent with phobic patients, 90 percent with alcoholics and 75 percent with smokers.

......Sodium amytal, a drug like sodium pentothal, is used frequently in therapy to help patients recall traumatic experiences that they are otherwise unable to remember.

Dr. Prasad said he learned the technique 30 years ago while working with an Irish psychiatrist who was treating shell-shocked patients in an English veterans hospital.

Sodium pentothal is an ultra-short-acting barbiturate that was used as an anesthetic until the 1930's. Doctors found that patients mumbled while under its influence so they started using it to treat shell shock by allowing patients to release suppressed fears and enabling them to come out of shock.

Dr. Prasad has since switched to using Bravitol, a relative of sodium pentothal, because it is shorter-acting and doesn't produce a high in the patient. The drug acts as a facilitator, so Dr. Prasad can help patients make mental adjustments while under anesthesia.

The treatment under sodium pentothal takes about an hour, and it is achieved by using an intravenous drip while the patient is seated.

Dr. Prasad said that there are no side effects and that the drug dissipates in the body within five minutes.

Truth Serum as Behavior Modification - New York Times - 22 July 2001


Other Sources of Information
Mumbai police to use truth serum on 'baby-faced' terrorist Azam Amir Kasab - 3 December 2008
WIKI - Truth Drugs
Some Believe 'Truth Serums' Will Come Back - Washington Post - 20 November 2006
Truth Serums - Schneier on Security (Blog Covering Security & Security Technology) - 22 November 2006

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