Arguably, one of the greatest CEOs of the tech industry has admitted to an ongoing addiction that has rocked Wall Street stocks. Elon Musk, the visionary and founder of Tesla has admitted that he has an addiction to the prescription drug Ambien. That admission saw the value of the company plunge by $4.6B.
In an unprecedented interview with the New York Times, Musk opened up about his battles with exhaustion and addiction to Ambien. The interview comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a federal investigation against Musk and Tesla because of a post on Twitter. The tweet on Aug. 7 stated that he was considering plans to take Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. According to some financial analysts, such a deal would be worth over $10B.
Because of that tweet, stock prices for Tesla rose more than 7 percent and trading was halted briefly. When it resumed it maintained its increasing value but it set off alarms at the San Francisco office of the SEC. This week, subpoenas were delivered to Tesla headquarters and now some board members are pushing Musk to resign from the company he founded more than 20 years ago. Because of Musk’s visionary work and hands-on approach even his company SpaceX would be affected if he stepped down.
Addiction in America has seen a rapid change based it seems on perceptions of racial stereotypes. Whether it be opioids or other prescription medications, Musk joins the estimated 28.6 million Americans age 12 and over who struggle with drug addiction. Of that number, 1 in 10 are abusers of prescription drugs. Ambien is used as a sedative to help a person have a restful night’s sleep. The recommended use of the drug for a patient is to make sure they go to bed at a set time with an expectation of at least 8 hours of sleep. Many physicians will only initially prescribe a two-week regimen and Ambien can be considered habit-forming, especially if combined with alcohol use.