Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Social phobia drug

I saw this news the other day, and the more I think about it, the more alarming it is. It's not meant to be. The article is about a new drug, still in tests, which increases trust. In tests, people who took the drug were fairly likely to trust scammers even after they'd been scammed; the control group unanimous avoided the scammer, post-scam.

It's being advertised as a way to help people with social phobias. That's useful. But I look at this news and see all the abuse potential it has.

I imagine the Siren myths retold as creatures breathing gusts of oxytocin on unsuspecting sailors.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
I thought of this song as soon as I heard that news.

lyrics and download here.
May. 28th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
Seems like it would have potential as a date-rape drug, too, though slipping an someone, all unwitting, a dose of nasal spray would be at least somewhat difficult.
May. 28th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought, too. *shudder*
May. 28th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm ... from the way you describe it, it sounds as if the drug might help in the short term but anyone taking it may have even worse social problems than before in the long term. If you are struggling to interact with people because you feel paranoid and have major trust issues, think of how the little trust you do have in new people would be shattered if you take a drug that would make you completely gullable and prey to anyone who would completely abuse that trust. When not under the influence of the drug the person would have even bigger trust issues than before because people have completely taken advantage of them. I'm not saying that as soon as someone is very trusting then the whole world is out to get them, I don't think that at all, but there are people who would take advantage and when things go wrong as a result (however rare or common such an occurance might be) it would probably have a big impact and would be another thing to add to the patients trust issues.

And yes, I can see Cliosfolly's point on it being a potential date rate drug, along with a few other negative applications. I guess that all depends on how little you need for it to be affective and how affective it really is so that you can make the application subtle.
May. 29th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too terribly much about this, if it's anything like Pitocin, which is just no fun whatsoever. I do recall, not long after getting off the Pitocin drip, being asked for consent to place my tiny daughter on a study drug intended to prevent neonatal infection. I was mostly polite in my response, but it was a variant of "Are you kidding me?! You're asking me this NOW?!"

... but I did actually come around and consent a few days later. And we proved the drug did not work, which was such a disappointment.
May. 28th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
Come visit our new sales event! Meet us for a presentation about our new product! Free coffee, tea, and cakes!
May. 28th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
That drug is, indeed, terrifying. I could imagine it used in situations where, say, a socially phobic or autistic person knows (s)he can trust someone, but can't make the leap to produce that trust -- with a family member or close friend, perhaps. I can imagine lots of ways that the drug's effects could go horribly wrong, though.
May. 28th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
That was all I could see when I read that article, the potential for abuse. Social phobias aren't about trust, anyway, any more than spider phobias are about trust.
May. 28th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, honestly, I can't see anything good about that.
May. 28th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Besides, woudn't someone with genuine trust isssues simply refuse to take the drug?

This seems like a drug in search of an application if you ask me.
May. 28th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've known about Oxytocin for some time: and yes, it can be aerosolised.

Fortunately the cause-and-effect isn't as clear-cut as rohypnol: pulsed releases of oxytocin are associated with the emotional responses of trust and mild euphoria. You don't get that by inhalation, or even by a low-release capsule, and even if you could 'pulse' the dose, it's a feedback system involving other inputs.
May. 30th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
Thank you for some informed context for the article.
May. 28th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
I share your concerns. The whole thing seems rather off.
May. 28th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
It's found naturally in humans. It's high in nursing mothers; one effect is to increase lactation.

It's given to cows to increase their milk production. A few years ago, someone burgled a veterinarian's office and stole what they could find. There's an intoxicating drug with a similar name, and law enforcement officials were certain the burglars had poor spelling skills and their customers would be disappointed....

Googling -- looks like the Wikipedia article is reasonably accurate. And speaking of disappointed customers, there was this ad:
New Oxytocin Trust Spray
What's Liquid Trust Oxytocin Spray?
Proven To Build Trust & Sex Appeal!

May. 30th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for providing greater context to the article.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )