Do Medications have the Ability to Affect Polygraph Charts?

Do Medications have the Ability to Affect Polygraph Charts?
by: Alton Cantrell

A puzzling reality with which PDD examiners struggle daily involve the various countermeasurers employed by those who purposely attempt to alter the outcome of their polygraph chart in their own favor. Aside from psychological and physical countermeasures, the challenge of the physiological effects of medications on the systems which determine the actual tracings is a real one. As opposed to the tack in the shoe, medications cannot be seen with the naked eye, their effects may not result in observable behavioral abnormalities, and the only clue may be charts which exhibit tracings that cannot be scored. When examinees disclose their use of medications prior to the test, the challenge of the PDD examiner is to determine if the disclosed list of medications contains any which adversely affect the charts. Knowing what to expect is very much in the favor of the PDD examiner, especially when that expectation is produced on an "Acquaintance Test." Therefore, a reliable medication reference is a huge ally to the PDD examiner. A second challenge occurs when bizarre tracings are produced and the examinee has failed to disclose any medication use. In the absence of finding any other documentable cause, medication use (legal or illegal) cannot be ruled out and must be suspected. Can medications cause an adverse effect on polygraph charts? The over whelming evidence, including PDD examiner experience and pharmacological research is a resounding YES. Does it always advesely affect the tracings to the extent that the test is invalid? The answer is NO. The prevailing wisdom of wise PDD examiners is to be as professionally prepared as they can be in predicting, recognizing and analyzing the effect of various medications on their tracings.

Diversified Educational Services

Diversified Educational Services is dedicated to equipping polygraph examiners with classroom instruction and educational materials which serves to enhance their formal educational training and their practical experience in the administration of polygraph examinations.

Polymedibase is a detailed, current drug database in a significant new offering. Alton Cantrell, a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist who developed this database, is a practicing registered pharmacist who also graduated from a polygraph school (Argenbright Polygraph Institute, 1988, ranked first in his class). His research paper for that school was written on the effects of drugs on polygraph examinations.He has lectured to numerous polygraph groups including the American Polygraph Association and National Polygraph Association's annual conventions.He administered polygraph examinations in the private sector for several years. He is a graduate of the Auburn University School of Pharmacy. He has served as President of the Alabama Associaton of Polygraph Examiners for two years. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor at DACA, Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina, as well as being a regular instructor at the polygraph school administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin, Texas. He has also developed drug databases for computerized polygraph programs.