- Elon Musk has told people he microdoses ketamine for depression, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- The billionaire also takes full doses at parties, the publication said.
- On Monday, Musk said on Twitter that ketamine is a “better option” than traditional drugs.
Elon Musk has told people he is taking small doses of ketamine to treat depression and has also been seen taking the drug recreationally, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal said.
The publication said the billionaire takes full doses of the drug at parties, citing individuals who have seen Musk use ketamine and other people with direct knowledge.
Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication. But the Tesla CEO tweeted about the use of ketamine to treat depression less than two hours after The Journal published its report.
“Depression is overdiagnosed in the US, but for some people it really is a brain chemistry issue,” Musk tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday morning. “But zombifying people with SSRIs for sure happens way too much. From what I’ve seen with friends, ketamine taken occasionally is a better option.”
Ketamine is a “dissociative drug” that can impact an individual’s visual and auditory senses, as well as produce “detachment from reality,” according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Medical professionals commonly use the drug as an anesthetic, but others can also use it illegally as a party drug. The drug can be sold as a white powder, a liquid, or a pill.
Some clinical trials have studied the use of ketamine to treat depression, and it could prove to be a new frontier for treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration hasn’t officially approved ketamine for treating mental-health issues, but for over a decade, some medical professionals have prescribed the drug off-label to some patients.
Musk is reportedly one of several executives in Silicon Valley to try his hand at psychedelics. Sergey Brin, one of the cofounders of Google, has taken psilocybin mushrooms, The Journal reported, citing people familiar with his use of the drug. Insider previously reported that Brin attended a party in Los Angeles last summer where guests openly consumed psychedelic mushrooms, and peers have said he has a general interest in psychedelic drugs. Similarly, members of the Founders Fund — an elite San Francisco venture-capital firm that has invested in major companies such as SpaceX, Airbnb, and Spotify — have been known to throw parties with psychedelics, the publication said.
Spokespeople for Brin and the Founders Fund did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication. But a spokesperson for the Founders Fund told The Journal: “Research shows that psychedelics can provide significant mental health benefits, and we support public and private sector efforts to make these drugs safely and legally available.”
Microdosing, the practice of taking very small amounts of a drug, has become a common practice in Silicon Valley, where executives may take tiny amounts of drugs such as LSD in an effort to boost their creativity and focus. As Insider previously reported, the jury is out on whether the drugs are effective, though many psychedelics are illegal.
Musk has gotten in hot water in the past for using drugs. In 2022, the billionaire said he and the “whole of SpaceX” had to be drug tested for a year after he smoked weed on a 2018 podcast with Joe Rogan. And Tesla board members expressed concern when Musk told The New York Times in 2018 that he’d begun using Ambien to sleep.
Last year, The New York Times reported that the billionaire often likes to discuss the benefits of psychedelic drugs with friends and has gone to nearly every Burning Man festival for the past 20 years.
“I have been with him on mild exploratory journeys,” David Marglin, a Bay Area lawyer who met Musk at Burning Man and has been his friend for 20 years, told The Times in 2022. “And he appreciates the value of those journeys. Nothing out of control or wild, but it’s all night, and there’s dancing and revelry.”
Read the Journal’s full story on its website.
Read the full article here