American companies are increasingly offering psychedelic therapy as a workplace benefit for employees seeking alternative treatments to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to a report.
Enthea, a startup that offers third-party administrative services for health insurance plans, told Fast Company that it has enrolled some 50 firms to begin offering the perk to its workers.
One of those companies, Dr. Bonner’s, which makes natural soap, offered around 7% of its 320 employees access to alternative therapy through the use of ketamine, a tranquilizer that has hallucinogenic qualities and is usually prescribed by veterinarians.
An anonymous survey found that of those 7% who were treated with ketamine, a whopping 86% showed improvement in their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder while 67% reported a reduction in symptoms of depression-related illnesses.
Some 65% of those who took part in the survey said they noticed a decline in symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
The introduction of psychedelic drugs for medicinal and therapeutic purposes has gained momentum in tech circle in recent years.
Earlier this year, X owner Elon Musk acknowledged that he used ketamine in microdoses to help him treat depression.
Witnesses told The Wall Street Journal that they observed Musk ingest the popular club drug known as Special K at parties.
Musk’s good friend and fellow tech mogul, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has also reportedly been known to take magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin.
Studies conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and other institutions have shown that patients diagnosed with depression and other mental health disorders reported improvements in their symptoms.
Clinical trials have also shown that psychedelics are just as effective — if not more so — than traditional medications used to treat depression and anxiety.
A series of studies from Johns Hopkins University’s psychedelics research unit found that magic mushroom-assisted therapy can reduce depression symptoms for up to a year and be effective for individuals for whom other treatments haven’t worked.
The promising results have prompted lawmakers in several states to advocate for decriminalization of magic mushrooms or at least making them legal for medical use.
Legislation to allow research on the therapeutic benefits psilocybin is under consideration in states across the political spectrum this year, including in Arizona, Hawaii and Oklahoma.
Legislation to legalize therapeutic use or create pilot programs is under consideration in states including California, Connecticut, New York, Utah, and Washington.
In Virginia, two magic mushroom-related bills failed to advance this year in the politically divided General Assembly.
With Post Wires