Predicting the Effect of Drugs on Polygraph Tracings

Predicting the Effect of Drugs on Polygraph Tracings
by: Alton Cantrell

Individual variability and sensitivity to medications is a challenge to PDD examiners in establishing consistent expectations regarding the effect of drugs on polygraph charts. It is true that while the bell curve principle applies on this subject, there continues to be individuals that react "outside the curve" and give unpredictable responses. For example, while most pharmacists and physicians expect Benadryl, an antihistamine, to cause drowsiness or sedation, some individuals exhibit the exact opposite behavior. In the medical community, practitioners have learned to cautiously avoid the terms "Always" or "Never" because there are always exceptions. Pharmacological research evidence can generally predict the tracing of most individuals who have ingested a given medication. Some may react very moderately, some tracings, may show dramatic influence. However, there may be rare instances where the individual shows no indication on the chart, or they may exhibit the very opposite expected behavior.A further complication involves the ingestion of multiple medications. If the effects are additive (such as two tranquilizers, or medications with tranquilizer effects), the effect is easily predicted. However, when medications affect multiple organ systems, or have opposing pharmacological effects, the outcome can present bizarre tracings which may render the chart un-interpretable to the extent that it cannot be scored and therefore, to an inconclusive or "No Opinion" result.

Diversified Educational Services
Diversified Educational Services is dedicated to equipping polygraph examiners 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. James 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.