Elon Musk
Elon Musk has defended prescribed ketamine use, citing Tesla's performance Wikimedia Commons

Breaking the silence on recent reports about his ketamine prescription, Elon Musk said the medication helps manage occasional periods of low mood, allows him to perform better and ultimately benefits Tesla investors.

Musk's comments about ketamine use came during a wide-ranging interview with former CNN host Don Lemon. The television journalist gave social media users a glimpse into their sometimes contentious conversation.

Even before the interview's release, the conversation sparked interest when it was revealed that Musk had terminated a business arrangement with Lemon immediately after the interview. In January, it was announced that Lemon would bring his "unique and honest voice" to X, formerly Twitter, in three 30-minute episodes per week.

Lemon's interview with Elon Musk explored a wide range of topics, including the billionaire's political views, his perspectives on race and recent controversies surrounding antisemitic remarks. According to a report by CBS News, Musk grew ill-tempered with the host during the discussion.

Responding to Lemon's question about his use of drugs, Musk revealed that he has a physician's prescription for ketamine, a "dissociative anaesthetic hallucinogen," which he takes once every other week. Notably, ketamine was reportedly a contributing factor in actor Matthew Perry's passing last year.

Taking to X last year, the Tesla CEO had revealed he has a prescription for the drug. In the X post, Musk noted that he takes ketamine for when his brain "goes super negative."

Can ketamine enhance leadership?

During the Lemon interview, the 52-year-old business magnate defended his ketamine use by highlighting Tesla's success as a public company. He implied that the medication had played a key role in helping him lead the automaker.

"What matters is execution," Musk said. "Tesla is worth about as much as the rest of the car industry combined, from nothing. From an investor's standpoint, if there is something I'm taking, I should keep taking it."

Musk noted that his demanding schedule, which usually involves 16-hour days and working on the weekends, prevents him from abusing ketamine. "I can't really get wasted because I can't get my work done," he said.

On Monday, Tesla shares rebounded 6.3 per cent, but this gain can't offset the year-to-date slump of about 30 per cent. The broader market, as reflected by the S&P 500 index, has risen 9 per cent so far in 2024.

On March 13th, following the termination of the X partnership with Don Lemon allegedly over high demands, the social media platform released a statement emphasising its commitment to "free speech."

Interestingly, the statement also acknowledged the company will "reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships."