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People working for Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps company can now access psychedelic-assisted treatment as part of a health benefits expansion that aligns with the company’s CEO David Bronner’s pro-reform goals.
On Monday, Dr. Bronner’s announced the partnership with non-profit healthcare organization Enthea, which specializes in ketamine-assisted therapy. Experts consider ketamine an effective treatment option for conditions such as treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We hope that by providing this to our employees, we will not only provide them with the tools they really need – COVID has been difficult for many people – but inspire other companies to similarly consider partnering with Enthea and providing the same kind of benefit from psychedelic-assisted therapy, starting with ketamine, but quite early [it] will also be MDMA and psilocybin,” Bronner told Marijuana Moment in a Monday phone interview.
“The War on Drugs is a dismal failure on so many fronts,” he said. “Fifty years of this war on drugs that has completely distorted politics and stigmatized psychedelic healing – we just need to get past all of this and treat addiction as a health issue and bring people struggling with a disorder related to substance use the help they need without further traumatizing them.”
Dr. Bronner’s is now offering free ketamine-assisted therapy to all benefits-eligible employees to support their mental health.
“Given all of our advocacy on this issue, this social benefit is the next logical step.” —Mike Bronner @NYTimes https://t.co/Rl6Oo0u6bE
— Dr. Bronner (@Dr.Bronner) February 28, 2022
The company’s new partnership makes sense, given that Bronner and the company have invested in numerous drug policy reform initiatives across the country. He provided a significant financial contribution to the successful 2020 campaign to make Oregon the first state in the United States to legalize psilocybin therapy, for example.
“The health and well-being of our employees is the primary driver of our benefits and compensation thinking,” Michael Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s, said in a press release. “Providing coverage for ketamine-assisted therapy is in the interest of providing tools for our staff to have the best quality of life and the best options for mental health care.”
“Our family and business are no strangers to depression and anxiety. We are deeply concerned about the mental health crisis facing society, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic,” “Given all of our advocacy on this issue, this social benefit is the next logical step,” he said.
Ketamine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for us as an anesthetic and is currently not specifically approved for psychiatric disorders, although doctors may administer it for off-label purposes, as they may with other pharmaceuticals. There is also an FDA-approved nasal spray called esketamine which produces similar effects and is licensed for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression and is therefore classified as Schedule III.
There are ketamine clinics operating in states ranging from Alabama to Washington, but not all insurance companies cover the treatment.
Dr. Bronner’s began including ketamine in his health care program on January 1 of this year. Enthea also plans to expand its psychedelic treatment toolkit to include MDMA and psilocybin pending FDA approval of the substances.
We are proud to partner with Enthea to become one of the first companies in the United States to offer ketamine-assisted therapy as a benefit.
Thanks to Andrew Jacobs at @NYTimes to share our story!
— Dr. Bronner (@Dr.Bronner) February 28, 2022
“We are especially proud of this unique partnership and applaud Dr. Bronner for leading the way for other companies,” said Lia Mix, CEO of Enthea. “Psychedelic-assisted therapy holds tremendous promise for addressing our society’s mental health crisis and improving the well-being of the workforce.”
“Successful, forward-thinking companies know the importance of employee mental health,” Mix said. “We’re also seeing top talent being attracted to companies with next-gen benefits like the one Dr. Bronner’s put in place. We anticipate both human and financial return on these organizations’ investment in psychedelic health care coverage.
Dan Rome, Chief Medical Officer at Enthea, said “The effectiveness of ketamine-assisted therapy has been demonstrated by multiple research studies and over twenty years of accumulated clinical experience.”
“Many studies show that, among people with chronic conditions, those who also have mental health conditions cost the health care system two to three times more than those who do not,” he said. declared. “Our society urgently needs more effective treatments for mental health conditions, to reduce human suffering as well as the economic cost of our overburdened healthcare system.”
The heads of the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) co-wrote a letter in 2019 outlining the state of psychedelic drug research, saying substances like ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, and ibogaine present an “opportunity to provide treatment to patients while expanding psychotherapy”. treatment options.”
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) director Nora Volkow said last year that existing research on the benefits of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression had been a “eye-opener” and that other studies were in progress. “We are funding ongoing research – on ketamine for opiate treatment and also on ketamine for pain,” she said.
“We have to learn from what the evidence shows us,” she added. “If we can use ketamine for the treatment of severe depression in a safe way, that’s an example of how we can really take drugs that we thought were dangerous and use them therapeutically.”
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Psychonaught.