SODIUM THIOPENTAL: A Way To Find A Truth

Bilge Sevil

There’s no way to know if someone is telling the truth, ever. On the other hand I’m sure you’ve all heard that people under anesthesia are telling some of their hidden secrets or crap. Maybe there is a way to learn the truth. But how? Like anasthesia, is there a drug which can make you tell the truth or is it just ridiculous idea?

Sodium thiopental, the trade name is Sodium pentothal, is a drug that is first synthesized in 1932 and first used in human beings on March 8, 1934, by Dr. Ralph M. Waters. it was very useful in anesthesia because it can rapidly reach the brain and causes unconsciousness within 30–45 seconds. Then truth serum effect of sodium pentothal has been discovered with what the patients said in anesthesia, during World War II. They can say all the hidden secrets after using the drug. Then it became militarized! Just like in the movie, they use it for the most known feature. it is believed that it made people unable to censor themselves and they would just empty their memories into a narrative statement. Also psychologists used to this drugs for recall of painful repressed memories.

It is a yellowish powder with a bitter taste and faint smell of garlic. It is available in single-dose ampoules of 500 mg to be dissolved in distilled water. then immediately it shows the signs such as intense burning pain skin blanching and blisters. And within two hours edema and hyperaesthesia can be observed. Now, it can be used as an anesthetic medicine, especially in surgery for pregnant mothers with no effect on the fetus. Also In both Belgium and the Netherlands, where active euthanasia is allowed by law, the standard protocol recommends sodium thiopental as the ideal agent to induce a coma. And in 34 states of the United States it is used to execute prisoners by lethal injection. Okay, it is very powerful drug but is it really effective to finding truth? How they do not lie when taking this drug?

Very basicly, lying is a mental activity indeed and that requires concentration. The sodium pentatol slows down brain activity. When the drug injected it ends up in the brain. Sodium thiopental binds with the brain cells receptor for GABA. sodium pentanol enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission by activation of the Cl channel on the Beta1 subunit of the GABAa receptor which is an inhibitory channel that decreases neuronal activity. Because chloride ions enter the cells, hyperpolarizes it and decreases produce excitement. That makes it hard to carry out complex things just like deciding which questions to answer and making up lies.

However, sodium pentotal is not too innocent. Firstly, An overdose of sodium pentotal can be deadly barbiturates has led to a number of celebrity deaths including Marylin Monroe and Jimi Hendrix. Secondly if intense or burning pain is observed, drug injection immediately should be stopped. Also, after using, some adverse effects such as high hypotension, respiratory depression or tissue necrosis can be observed. Moreover, it has never been officially approved. I mean this relaxation may cause telling some ridiculous meaningless things. For these reasons using sodium pentatol is banned in most countries.

Unfortunatelly, it seems that there is no way to learn it. Or like Dishwalla say that they always say the truth will find a way and it makes you sick ’cause you can’t fake it. Thus, i am the one who believe that the truth always comes out in the end!

REFERENCE:

  • López-Muñoz, F., Ucha-Udabe, R., & Alamo, C. (2005). The history of barbiturates a   century after their clinical introduction. Neuropsychiatric disease and   treatment1(4), 329–343.
  • Orwig, J. (2014, October 10). The Real Truth Behind How ‘Truth-Telling’ Drugs Actually   Work. Retrieved June 08, 2020, from https://www.businessinsider.com/is-  there-such-a-thing-as-truth-serum-2014-10
  • Roberts, M., & Jagdish, S. (2016). A history of intravenous anesthesia in war (1656-  1988). Journal of anesthesia history, 2(1), 13-21.
  • Thiopental 500mg Powder for Solution for Injection. (n.d.). Retrieved June 08, 2020,   from https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/9376/smpc

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