Chelsea Handler Does Lots of Drugs on Her New Netflix Show

By Zachary Siegel 02/10/16

In a drug-laced episode, Chelsea takes on pills, weed, booze, and of course: ayahuasca. 

Chelsea Handler Does Lots of Drugs on Her New Netflix Show
Photo via Shutterstock

“I like to experience every possible experience that I can have,” said Chelsea Handler, the former talk show host with a new Netflix show called Chelsea Does, where she tackles several controversial subjects. The experiences in question are mainly drug induced, on episode 4, appropriately titled: “Chelsea Does Drugs.” Indeed, she does drugs the whole episode. 

She smokes a joint with Willie Nelson in his trailer. She takes Adderall and draws pictures. Later that night, she takes 10 milligrams of Ambien along with a couple cocktails consisting of straight vodka “to show people what happens when you get fucked up,” as though she were going where no man or woman has gone before, a one way ticket to delirium. Then she proceeds to play Twister, which appears to be a real struggle for the dozing, drunk Handler. 

She also riffs about her thoughts and relationship with drugs. Over a weed-laced dinner at her (very posh) home, she said she would shoot up heroin with a doctor's assistance just, “to feel the intensity.” In a quasi-therapy session she says plainly, “I like drugs, I think they’re good for the imagination.” She also admits to drinking too much but not feeling any guilt about it. 

The episode reaches its zenith when she flies to Peru to take ayahuasca, the well-known hallucinogenic plant that supposedly forces users to confront their innermost selves. “It’s supposed to be one of those transformative experiences; people say it changes their life,” Handler said. 

In an interview she said, “There was a lot of chanting and vomiting on camera for me, which of course I was very excited to do.” 

In what looked like a temple, Handler ingested ayahuasca and soon began to throw up in a bucket. “'You drink it, it’s like a tea, you do it with some guy who's yelling at you in Spanish. He's got trees, and if you're not focusing he'll hit you on the head.”

Handler relates her experience with ayahuasca as mostly positive. “I had all these beautiful imageries of my childhood and me and my sister laughing on a kayak, and all these beautiful things with me and my sister,” she said. “So [my experience] was very much about opening my mind to loving my sister, and not being so hard on her.”

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.