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Narco Analysis: The Pros and Cons

Updated on June 27, 2011

What’s Narco analysis?

Detective agencies use the word narco analysis every now and then. This is a scientific method to prove the fact. The word Narco analysis comes from the Greek term ‘narc’ which means anesthesia.Narco analysis makes use of the scientific method by which the medicine ‘truth serum’ is being injected to the convicts so as to prove a crime. Using Narco analysis to prove truth has been a controversial topic among solicitors ever since the methodology was introduced to prove crimes. Now a day, narco analysis is a word that’s very familiar even to the lay men.

Polygraph, brain mapping and narco analysis are the main methodologies being adopted to prove truth. But it has not been proved beyond doubt that any of these methodologies could bring out complete and exact truth. Yet these scientific methods are accepted in many nations because they help in bringing light upon crucial clues in a crime.

Truth serum

As already said, narco analysis makes use of truth serum to find truth. Truth serum makes the convict say only the truth, or at least it prevents the tendency of the convict to spit out lies. These medicines contain chemicals that subdue the brain in such a way that the convict gives truthful answers to every question without any hesitation or self-control. But these revelations needn’t be authentic.

Usually, we get a clue regarding the ultimate truth from these revelations. It’s with this hope that detective officers always go for this analysis. Otherwise we would never need lock ups and tortures to prove the truth!

The dangerous part is this that careless use of these truth serums can result even in death. So the use of truth serums has been controversial ever since. It’s not advisable to use truth serums in those who have heart diseases and high blood pressure. High precautions are to be observed while using truth serums in such persons.

In 1943, it was Stephen Horsley in his book “Narco Analysis: A New Technique in Shortcut Psychotherapy” who introduced the term narco analysis for the first time. The book discusses narco analysis as a psychiatric treatment method. Horsley found out accidently that certain medicines induce people to talk freely without any inhibition. It was found that correct answers were given to almost all the questions.

Narco analysis - A torture method.

Narcotics are usually used as truth serums. Narcotics slow down and anesthetize the activities of our sense organs and lead us to a painless state between sleep and trance. It’s in this intermediate state between sleep and trance and that people give out answers to every question with out any restraint. Once the sedation is over, the convict hardly remembers what all things he said!

Narco analysis was used in the crime sector for the first time in 1992. Robert House, a pediatrician from Texas used the narcotic Scopolamine in two prisoners for the first time. In the initial days, narco analysis was used in psychic treatments. Later it was realized that this scientific method can be used for crime inquiries too.

Sodium pentothal, sodium amytal etc which belongs to the Barbiturate drug branch are used as truth serums. These are used in hypnotism and as pain killers and sleeping pills. Almost all the human rights organizations over the world are against resorting to narco test for truth analysis. Human rights organizations look down upon narco analysis as a torture method.

In nations like America which makes use of the post modern techniques to prove crimes, narco analysis is banned. Leading detective organizations like the Federal Investigative Bureau adheres to other psychiatric methodologies to prove truth.

Sister Abhaya Murder - Narco Analysis CD

Narco analysis

The UN too hasn’t approved the narco analysis. The UN holds that truth serums present an individual in a different light and hence it’s a torture. Narco analysis came to international lime light when the C.I.I chief William Webster requested for consent to do narco analysis on the Al Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo bay, when the latter refused to co-operate with the inquiries. But American authorities made it clear that narco analysis would never be allowed to carry out in the country.


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