Elon Musk’s allegedly “escalated” use of the drug ketamine could explain his penchant for erratic decision-making at X and his other companies, according to a New Yorker exposé about the billionaire.
The Tesla CEO was scrutinized in a lengthy, year-long report by journalist Ronan Farrow, who cited “associates” who have reportedly “connected his erratic behavior to efforts to self-medicate.”
“Associates suggested that Musk’s use has escalated in recent years, and that the drug, alongside his isolation and his increasingly embattled relationship with the press, might contribute to his tendency to make chaotic and impulsive statements and decisions,” Farrow wrote in the article.
Musk has drawn scrutiny in recent months after a string of eyebrow-raising maneuvers – including his decision to acquire struggling Twitter at a bloated $44 billion price tag last fall and, more recently, to abandon the company’s famed blue bird logo while rebranding it to “X.”
The New Yorker cited commentary from a top ketamine researcher, Amit Anand, who confirmed use of the drug could increase erratic behavior.
“A little bit of ketamine has an effect similar to alcohol. It can cause disinhibition, where you do and say things you otherwise would not,” Anand said. “At higher doses, it has another effect, which is dissociation: you feel detached from your body and surroundings.”
Anand added that ketamine can cause the user to “feel grandiose and like you have special powers or special talents.
“People do impulsive things, they could do inadvisable things at work. The impact depends on the kind of work,” he continued. “For a librarian, there’s less risk. If you’re a pilot, it can cause big problems.”
The report also cited a “close colleague” of the man who not only owns X, but is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX who said Musk’s “life just sucks.”
“It’s so stressful. He’s just so dedicated to these companies,” the colleague said. “He goes to sleep and wakes up answering e-mails. Ninety-nine per cent of people will never know someone that obsessed, and with that high a tolerance for sacrifice in their personal life.”
The Post reached out to X for comment, which replied with an automated message that it would “get back to you soon.”
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk “takes ketamine” and was among a slew of Silicon Valley heavyweights that have begun to experiment with micro doses of psychedelics.
The June report cited “people who witnessed him use ketamine and others with direct knowledge of his use.”
Musk seemingly responded to the report in a subsequent tweet, arguing it could be an effective antidepressant.
“Zombifying people with SSRIs for sure happens way too much,” Musk tweeted at the time. “From what I’ve seen with friends, ketamine taken occasionally is a better option.”
In 2019, Musk faced a Pentagon review of his security clearance after he was filmed smoking marijuana during an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. Musk’s private space firm SpaceX is a prominent government contractor.
The New York Times also reported in 2018 that members of Tesla’s board had expressed concern about his use of sleep drug Ambien.