From Silicon Valley to Wall Street: How executives are using LSD, ketamine for competitive edge

NEW DELHI: Professionals are increasingly turning to substances such as LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine to enhance their performance. Startup enthusiasts and professional women are using “magic” mushrooms to boost productivity and creativity, or to experience a stress-relieving, hangover-free buzz. Executives are attending opulent psychedelic retreats, hoping to broaden their minds in a forest setting, seeking to leverage this for business growth, reminiscent of Steve Jobs’ experiences.The psychedelic industry, already lucrative, is predicted to burgeon to $11 billion by 2027, an Insider report said.
The perception of drugs has shifted from negative to potentially beneficial, especially in the workplace. However, as Greg Fonzo from the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School notes, the truth is nuanced – no drug is universally beneficial or harmful.
Microdosing, the practice of taking small, unnoticeable amounts of drugs, has become a trend among various professionals, believed to aid in creativity and productivity. However, the scientific community, represented by Matthew Johnson from Sheppard Pratt, remains skeptical due to insufficient research and possible placebo effects, the Insider report said.
The risks and ethics of drug use, especially in professional settings, remain controversial. Luxury psychedelic retreats, like those offered by the Journeymen Collective in Vancouver, are becoming popular among corporate leaders seeking to transform their business perspectives. However, the outcomes of such experiences are unpredictable and can profoundly alter individuals’ professional paths.
While some users report increased insight and emotional awareness, others may experience prolonged periods of anxiety, depression, or confusion following psychedelic use. There is also a risk of exacerbating pre-existing mental health conditions. Also, chronic use of psychedelics might affect cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and decision-making. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term impacts fully.
Team retreats involving psychedelics raise concerns regarding pressure and workplace dynamics. Notably, there have been reports of Elon Musk’s circle feeling compelled to participate in drug use. The professional environment’s evolution reflects broader societal changes regarding drug perceptions and uses, highlighting the complex relationship between substance use, work culture, and personal well-being.


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