Mental Health Monday–Veritaserum Muggle-Style

Author Lynn Rush asks:

Are there any drugs out there that would make someone more susceptible to mind control/brain washing?

The quick answer is no.

HOWEVER, in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Amytal Interview was used mainly in psychotherapy to draw up information from the unconscious (AKA subconscious) mind. Some thought it helped patients recover “forgotten memories.”

Sodium Amytal (amobarbitol) is a barbituate drug that can induce similar effects to alcohol intoxication (drowsiness, slurred speech, distorted sense of time, a feeling of warmth) and those given the drug can enter what’s called the “twilight” state (which is between sleep and wakefulness).

(Those of you who watched Hannibal Rising remember the scene where Hannibal injects himself with a drug to remember the men who murdered his sister, right? Well, that’s the idea.)

Further research found that people can actually fabricate (lie) information while in this twilight state. Therefore, the idea that truth will be told when in a relaxed, drugged state is NOT accurate.

Bummer, right?

Er, I mean, it would make a nice plot device in any novel, but is not reality. 😉

A “fun” fact: Soldiers were given Sodium Amytal to treat “Shell Shock” (now called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in World War II. It allowed the soldiers to return to the front lines. Yay for them. O_o

Remember, these posts are for writing purposes only and are NOT to be construed as medical treatment or advice.

Check out Lydia Kang’s Medical Monday post and Sarah Fine’s The Strangest Situation.