Office vibes a little off? We've all been there — and some workplaces, apparently, have bad energy to the degree that they're turning towards ketamine as a vibe cure.
You can't make this up. According to a report from Bloomberg, some employers are turning — checks notes — ketamine startups in order to improve office vibes. That's one way to do it, we guess!
"It's great when people have intentions around thriving and clarity and being more creative and productive in their life and work,” Reid Robison, chief clinical officer of ketamine company Numinus Wellness Inc, told Bloomberg. Robison, per the report, leads group "ketamine-assisted therapy" sessions, as the company calls them on their website. And, well, these alleged therapy sessions are pretty much exactly what they sound like: users lay down with cloth over their eyes, wait for a facilitator to inject a syringe of the psychedelic in their upper arms, and trip with their coworkers.
"We hope to take them out of the healing-only realms," he added, "and into healing and growth and ways of improving their lives."
Per Bloomberg, part of the appeal of ketamine therapies is that, when compared to other powerful psychedelics, the club drug is legal-ish in the US — legal-ish meaning that it's legal for some things, but not in every setting that one might want to use it. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a ketamine-laced nasal spray back in 2019 for specific therapeutic purposes, but the FDA has yet to approve the drug — which has been prescribed for depression off-label for many years now, as Bloomberg points out — for general mental health purposes.
But it's much more acceptable than, say, the celebrity-beloved ayahuasca, the shamanic South American psychedelic that's illegal in most countries worldwide.
"From a professional perspective," Niko Everett, a career coach in San Francisco, told Bloomberg, "it's much more palatable" than ayahuasca.
According to the report, Silicon Valley executives and workplaces have taken a particular shine to the ketamine therapy — not terribly surprising, considering that the tech world is well-known for its obsession with productivity-boosting "biohacking" measures.
"It's so hard for people to create new habits," Everett continued, noting that her clients — who per the report are "mainly high-level female executives in Silicon Valley" — have a tough time "[unplugging] from the overwhelm." Routine change is a difficult thing, and she and other ketamine fans argue that a malleable, drugged-up, post-ket cranium is more amenable to reworking hardwired habituations.
But that said, work-focused keratine sessions aren't just contained to Silicon Valley. Chase Hudson, the co-founder of a CBD company in Provo, Utah, told Bloomberg that he and his company have looked to the psychedelic drug as a "bridge the gap between the psychedelic world and the corporate space."
"I had this ego dissolution like, 'Oh, man. I'm sorry. I didn’t realize you were looking for this, this and this,'" said Hudson. "You're speaking from the heart and not the mind."
If you're considering exploring group ketamine therapy for your own company, however, fair warning: according to the CBD founder, you might want to consider taking the drug separately and reconvening afterward. Things, apparently, can get a little weird.
"We learned quickly it's too intimate, you're not in control of your body," Hudson told Bloomberg, and "you say things."
More on drugs at work: Startup Trying to Test Whether People on DMT Experience a Shared Alien Universe
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