Beyond Conventional Medication: The Growing Popularity of Microdosing for Mental Health

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Regardless of the size of the doses, possession of illegal Class A drugs carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison. So why has the trend emerged amongst professional people?

People who micro-dose share the idea that micro-dosing enhances one’s mood, concentration, productivity, and creative thinking, while reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges with minimal side effects. However, cynics consider that the benefits could be an “expectancy effect” which means that if micro-dosers expect to feel happier by taking the substance, will feel like they are happier just from taking the substance, regardless of what is in it.

The popularity of micro-dosing psychedelics is growing, and there must be a reason for that. This however does not imply that the practice is safe or standard practice, especially if the effects of use happen within working hours.

Given its current illegality and lack of regulation, there is no safe way to know what dosage is taken. LSD is an extremely powerful and long-acting drug, meaning there is a clear risk of consuming more of the substance than intended. Psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD can produce physiological tolerance, which might suggest that, even if micro-dosing does help, there could be diminishing returns if one stays at the same dosage.

What can you do as an employer?

Employers should be aware of the growing trend for micro-dosing and be alert to potential users in the workforce.

The possession of class A drugs is illegal, and you should take all reasonable precautions to prevent any crimes from taking place within your workplace.

Employers have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare of their staff.

Employees must also take reasonable care of themselves and anyone who could be affected by their work.

We recommend:

  • Reviewing or implementing your organisation’s drug and alcohol policy to ensure that hallucinogenic substances, such as LSD and magic mushrooms are covered.  
  • If an employee informs you that they have a drug problem, you should aim to support them rather than lead to instant dismissal. But equally, policies should highlight when disciplinary or other action will take place. 
  • You may consider adopting drug and alcohol testing policies if necessary for the work carried out in your business. For example, if drug use can cause clear health and safety risks. Any testing must be carried out properly and employees must consent to testing for practical and legal reasons.  
  • We recommend providing training to raise awareness amongst the workforce about the risks of consuming drugs, even in micro-doses, as well as compulsory training on identifying and managing common mental health challenges. Employers should regularly sign-post mental health services to direct employees that may be suffering towards various means of support. 

If you need assistance with handling the challenges of this trend, or have issues affecting your workplace culture, our team of experienced investigators can provide hands-on support and practical guidance. Please call us for an initial chat on 0808 196 3151 or learn more here.