Workplaces to start offering psychedelics to help employees

Workplaces to start offering psychedelics to help employees

Workplaces to start offering psychedelics to help employees

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According a report, a growing number of companies are exploring the possibility of offering psychedelic drug therapy to their employees as a method of mental health treatment.

Research has shown drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin (a.k.a magic mushrooms), and ketamine can be useful as alternative mental health treatment for conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Founder of Alexis Healthcare Systems, Jorge Yant, told The Wall Street Journal he has started offering psychedelic-assisted therapy coverage to his employees through benefits startup Enthea.

“I’ve experimented with psychedelics myself, and I could see how it could be helpful to people,” Yant told the paper.

Want explained he first considered covering psychedelic therapies after an anonymous summary report of prescription drug use at the company revealed how many of his employees were prescribed medications for their mental health.

“The use of antidepressants among my employees and their families was off the charts,” he shared.

Yant believes that prescription drugs are overemphasised within the US healthcare system and that alternative therapy could be beneficial for his workers.

He added that it would save money over time compared to expensive, traditional therapy sessions and will make his employees both happier and more productive.

Enthea offers ketamine-assisted therapy coverage, and will soon cover psilocybin if clients are based out of or willing to go to Oregon - where it is now legal for medical use.

The company added if MDMA is approved by the FDA, they will add it to their list.

Sherry Rais, Enthea’s CEO, said just this past year more than a dozen companies signed up for the therapy coverage.

Psychedelic therapy has been increasingly praised for its mental health benefits, especially by those in Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

Elon Musk said he used ketamine to help him manage a "negative chemical state". And Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said he used psilocybin.

Despite employer interest in psychedelic therapy, there still remains concerns about the risk of using drugs in a non-clinical setting.

Many doctors who aren’t trained as psychiatrists are now adding ketamine to their arsenal for patients to use at home, David Feifel, a psychiatrist and medical director of Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute in La Jolla, Calif., told WSJ.

Deb Smolensky, the head of well-being and engagement with NFP, said a wider movement towards psychedelic-assisted therapy is emerging.

“It’s going to come. We see the writing on the wall,” she said.

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