Why Are More Business Leaders Using Psychedelics?
Just a few years ago, using psychedelics such as magic mushrooms and LSD was demonized.
There are a stigma attached to using such substances, and this stigma was ever-present in rigid cultures and most especially – the boardroom. Consuming psychedelics, even off hours, was viewed as something dangerous, addictive, and a habit that could never possibly bring about anything positive. This was due to the War on Drugs – which caused more harm than good.
But if you look to the past, there is significant evidence that ancient cultures from all around the world consumed psychedelics as part of tradition and ritual. A vast array of psychedelics were used in shamanic and spiritual practices, to induce states of consciousness that would unlock door to a higher level of wisdom, clarity, and even creativity.
Again, it was the War on Drugs that suddenly tried to convince people psychedelics were bad – for around 50 years, we were fed lies and propaganda. After all, when people take psychedelics, they’re much harder to manipulate with the BS the government feeds us.
Thanks to modern research, we’re now seeing evidence that classic psychedelics have many more therapeutic applications: they can be used to improve cognitive function, increase neural plasticity, and even help individuals heal from the damage caused by PTSD, anxiety, depression, and many other mental health issues.
These days, some of the biggest universities not just in North America but around the world have raced to establish psychedelic research departments. Millions of dollars have been poured by investors into startups that are dedicated to studying the therapeutic value of psychedelics. It’s no longer pseudo-science: psychedelics have real and long-lasting benefits for the mind.
These days, using psychedelics is nothing short of trendy. Many can even call it mainstream, at least in North America, where Silicon Valley leaders, tech startup founders, and business executives from industries of all kinds have turned to once-shamed drugs to help them function in and out of the boardroom.
A new analysis, published in the Substance Use and Misuse journal, which is a peer-reviewed publication, reveals that there is an upward trend of psychedelic drug consumption among business leaders in the United States. The researchers assessed data taken from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, specifically looking for LSD or acid consumption patterns.
Data was taken from more than 160,000 adults from 2006 through 2014. Their findings were surprising: the people who self-identified as managers were significantly consuming more LSD within the past year, and much more compared to other employees who weren’t identifying as managers. “The results suggest that the prevalence of past year LSD use increased over time at a greater rate among business managers than non-managers and that this difference cannot be accounted for by changes in business managers’ perceived risk of LSD use or general substance use relative to non-managers,” reads the study.
“The number of anecdotal media reports on psychedelic drug use among employees and business leaders have increased dramatically in recent years, though empirical evidence regarding the prevalence of this use was lacking,” says Benjamin Korman, a postdoctoral research student at Germany’s University of Bamberg. “My intent was to determine whether these media reports stemmed from skewed reporting, or were representative of an actual shift in psychedelic use within the workplace,” PsyPost shares.
Additionally, the researchers analyzed if changing perceptions of drug use could be responsible for the almost 1100% rise in LSD consumption among managers within the study time period. However, they found no notable changes in the perceived risks among both managers and non-managers, which suggests that there are other reasons driving the rise in consumption for business leaders.
“I was surprised that decreasing perceptions of the risks associated with LSD use could not explain the findings,” explains Korman. “This suggests that it is not the potential negative effects of LSD that are responsible for differences in use between business managers and non-managers, but maybe perceptions of the potential positive effects of LSD use.”
They also did acknowledge the study’s limitations, specifically the duration which was 2006 to 2014. This makes it challenging to have a pulse on current trends. This doesn’t take away the finding that there is still an increased rate of LSD consumption among business leaders in general. “My study could only show what wasn’t explaining the effect, but not what is,” said Korman.
The benefits of psychedelics are a serious game-changer, whether you’re a business leader or not. LSD, DMT, psilocybin, as well as many other psychoactive chemicals are actually effective in helping people become more empathetic and tolerant to the world around them. Since these drugs can help promote neuroplasticity, which is the process that enables the brain to reorganize old thoughts and change itself with time.
Psychedelics can also help tremendously for business leaders because aside from helping them perform better, it can improve collaboration and communication. While we don’t know much about how they do it yet, psychedelics can indeed help people connect to one another on a much deeper level, resulting in more productive business relationships. Psychedelics also promote compassion, which is necessary for teamwork.
While the psychedelic revolution is no doubt upon us – and that’s a good thing – there’s still much more that needs to be done. For example, strict protocols and extensive training for medical professionals, so that they can obtain the education they need to administer psychedelics safely for the benefit of all their patients.