Elon Musk continues touting the benefits of psychedelics, from his live interview at CodeCon2021 to his most recent tweets endorsing those working towards developing these substances for better therapeutic effects and even revisiting his own experience with them.
Tesla TSLA’s CEO aligned with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman who said on Sunday in a Twitter thread that “a lot of crazy stories start with too much amphetamines and end with not enough psychedelics,” which triggered a response from Musk.
“Amphetamines negatively affect empathy, psychedelics do the opposite,” said Twitter’s new owner and CEO. While the comment might not be surprising in view of his previous remarks in favor of psychedelics, it is meaningful as it draws attention to a somewhat overlooked topic.
Amphetamines negatively affect empathy, psychedelics do the opposite
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
In that most scientific and clinical research is devoted to the beneficial therapeutic effects of psychedelics on specific mental health conditions, the ‘recreational” aspect is usually overlooked.
Psychedelic experiences have been linked to increases in emotional empathy. Studies found that psilocybin increased empathy and creativity after a trip and further on for up to seven days while LSD acutely reduced fear recognition and enhanced emotional empathy and sociality.
The issues science is not directly addressing are actually a whole universe, in which we find psychedelics’ potential benefits could affect our ability to better focus and be more creative at work as well as how we treat ourselves and our fellow human beings by developing and nurturing a more spiritual connection within.
A subset within this discussion is dosage. Many personal reports state a “sense of connectedness” to others and to nature has seen incredible growth with just one medium-high dose of a psychedelic substance. Others go as far as to state that microdosing at work might enhance creativity and much-needed empathy.
Due to the release of chemicals weakening the brain’s default mode network (DMN), increasing feelings of trust, understanding, openness and closeness would allow us to see others’ points of view and improve communication.
While the safety profile of virtually all psychedelics is yet being defined and refined by research -and therefore remain Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CTA)– it certainly doesn’t look like public comments on their advantages from recognized leaders are on the rise.
Photo courtesy of Heisenberg Media on Wikimedia Commons.