truth serum

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truth serum (plural truth serums)

  1. (informal, medicine) A psychoactive medication, especially one administered by injection, which supposedly renders a person cooperative and disposed to respond honestly to questions.
    • 1948 Sept. 11, "Mrs. Clark Agrees to Return With Lemay for Questioning," Milwaukee Journal, p. 1 (retrieved 16 July 2012):
      There is a difference of opinion among criminologists as the relative merits of the truth serum test over the lie detector test. The former relies upon producing a state of near unconsciousness in the subject by injection of controlled dosages of sodium amytal.
    • 1956 Feb. 13, "Cyprus: Heat & Haggling," Time:
      "The British run torture centers in Cyprus where they beat their prisoners, inject them with truth serums, extract their teeth and fingernails," cried Athens' Voice of the Fatherland radio.
    • 2002 April 4, Jodi Wilgoren, "Illinois's Longest-Serving Inmate's New Hope of Freedom," New York Times (retrieved 16 July 2012):
      Mr. Heirens spent days in police custody and was given truth serum and a spinal tap before confessing to the Degnan killing and the earlier slayings of two women.



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