Elon Musk Touts Ketamine For Depression Following Report On His Use Of Drug

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The world’s richest man Elon Musk uses the psychedelic drug ketamine, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, shortly before the billionaire multi-hyphenate showed his support for the drug’s use in treating depression.

Key Facts

Musk takes ketamine in small doses to treat depression and uses higher doses of the drug at social events, according to the Journal, citing unnamed sources who saw the Tesla CEO take the drug or were told by Musk himself.

In a tweet shortly after the report’s release, Musk asserted “ketamine taken occasionally is a better option” than traditional medication for depression, citing the experience of “friends.”

Musk also railed against “zombifying people with SSRIs,” referring to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the most commonly prescribed class of drug prescribed for the mental illness.

The Food and Drug Administration approved an inhalable version of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression in 2019, citing favorable clinical trials, but recreational use of ketamine is illegal, and the FDA’s approval required patients to use the drug in a healthcare worker’s presence due to the potential for abuse.

The drug’s primary use is as an animal and human anesthetic, but it can also induce hallucinations at lower doses.

Surprising Fact

The Journal reported Tuesday Musk is not alone among tech billionaires delving into psychedelics: Google cofounder Sergey Brin purportedly uses psilocybin mushrooms, legal only in Colorado and Oregon.

Forbes Valuations

Musk is the wealthiest man in the world with a $230 billion fortune, narrowly topping French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault. Brin is the 11th-richest person on the planet with a net worth of $96 billion.

Key Background

Musk’s curiosity about human brain function and questioning of accepted medical practices are far from new: The billionaire owns the human brain implant startup Neuralink, and has regularly poked at consensus medical opinions, such as the necessity of Covid-19 vaccines. The 51-year-old smoked marijuana during a 2018 appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in a widely-memed moment. Musk has frequently made jokes about drugs, tweeting last April “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in,” shortly after he entered an agreement to buy Twitter, and he often jokingly alludes to the number 420’s association with marijuana, even in court.

Magic Mushrooms. LSD. Ketamine. The Drugs That Power Silicon Valley. (Wall Street Journal)

Why Toms Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie Is Committing $100 Million To Psychedelic Research (Forbes)

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