Psychedelics

Charles Wininger: Why We Should Listen To Ecstasy and Other Psychedelics

A 71-year-old therapist comes out of the "chemical closet" to promote MDMA as a means of self-discovery

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Charles Wininger has been a psychotherapist and "psychonaut"—a user of psychoactive substances ranging from LSD to marijuana to psilocybin—for decades. In his new memoir and practical guide, Listening To Ecstasy: The Transformative Power of MDMA, the 71-year-old New Yorker comes out of the "chemical closet" to talk about how MDMA has helped to revitalize his personal and professional life, what important lessons today's "psychedelic renaissance" has learned from the 1960s counterculture, and why "serious fun" that leads to both self-actualization and the revitalization of community is within our grasp.

As MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder enters Phase 3 trials for FDA approval and voters around the country legalize or decriminalize the use of psychedelics, Wininger believes that the time has come to have honest discussions of how best to use what the government calls illicit drugs to create a better world. One way we make that happen, he says, "is for those who can do so and who dare to do so to come out of the chemical closet and say, 'I am a user of these compounds, they do me a lot of good, and they help me function in a better way. They help me become more creative, more alive and more useful to society as a whole.'"

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42 responses to “Charles Wininger: Why We Should Listen To Ecstasy and Other Psychedelics

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  1. I could show you a hundred people who have tried drugs and like them so much they now live under a bush.
    Drugs – always the best choice.

    1. I could show you a hundred people who have tried drugs and like them so much they now live under a bush.

      Give it about 5 years, and that comment will likely cost you your job. One more alternative lifestyle you’d damn well better learn to “celebrate”.

    2. Drugs – always the best choice.

      Except nicotine. And anabolic/androgenic steroids… unless they’re being given to kids with gender dysphoria. And drugs given to livestock to make them healthier and more productive.

      Drugs are always the best choice, unless Science (PBUH) deems otherwise.

      1. PBUH. Code? Yes. Known only to you. As for me, I don’t care.

  2. “I discovered that I like drugs” or “I discovered that drugs mess me up” are different from “I discovered the meaning of life.”

  3. This explains a lot with you guys.

  4. A 71-year-old therapist comes out of the “chemical closet”

    I can’t wait until “coming out” stops being fashionable. 68% of people support marijuana legalization. In 2018, an estimated 10 million people abused opioids. If you’ve been in the closet for the last ~10 yrs., it’s because you’ve been holding the door shut from the inside. You aren’t some brave, crusading individual, you’re a living, breathing counter-point charicature to every “anti-Conservative” narrative you’ve internalized.

    Nixon’s dead, man. Even the Conservatives who still believe in the last vestiges of reefer madness have largely conceded that as long as you’re in your home and not operating heavy machinery, you should be able to have at it.

    1. I think for a lot of us it’s about the freedom to make terrible personal choices. Saying someone should be able to screw up his own life is not like actually endorsing those choices.
      Also, with personal freedom comes some responsibilities, like living with consequences. Go ahead, do the drugs, but don’t look to me for help with food and housing.

      1. People are already free to make terrible personal choices. At least they’re a lot freer to make them than you are to comment on them.

      2. ^THIS… “about the freedom to make terrible personal choices” … “not like actually endorsing those choices”

  5. Just take the soma, serfs

  6. Who the hell is that guy, Rip van Winkle who’s been napping since 1963?

    Oh wow, man. Heavy.

  7. Still waiting for reason kochs take on Hawley. Or did you blow a gasket over an elected official not accepting Biteme’s coronation.

  8. Charlie Wininger’s dead. NOo-ooo-ooo-oooo, he’s on the outside, looking in. Hey, watch where you’re going!. You just ran a red light, you know,

    1. My therapist says it’s cool.

  9. long live MDMA. if everyone dropped there would be world peace

    1. World Peace, no. Especially if other drugs are similarly legalized.

      However, after about 16-24 straight hours of drunken, hyperthermic combat, even the youngest, most fit recruits on both sides would take 3 days sleeping and rehydrating to recover. At which time, they would be more aggressive and irritable than before they started.

      Not saying it should be illegal or isn’t clinically useful, just that everybody brings something different to the table and in anecdotes; severe, acute effects tend to be exaggerated and subtle, long-term effects downplayed.

  10. Another fallacy of an old man who grew up in the hippie era and did not put drugs aside. An idiot trying to fool others. Such self-discovery of these people lead them to what wonder? Some stupid hallucinations and self-deception. This imbecile only has a voice for promoting the zombification of the mass of ignorant useless addicts. That old man is a fraud.

    1. Go home Dad, you are drunk!

  11. I don’t know why MDMA or “ecstacy” gets referred to as a psychedelic. It’s an amphetamine. It’s fun and if people wanna use it to have some kind off life changing event or profound experience that’s cool.

    It always makes me introverted and if I do talk I say stupid shit.

    1. I don’t know why MDMA or “ecstacy” gets referred to as a psychedelic. It’s an amphetamine.

      It’s both you fucking retard.

      and if I do talk I say stupid shit

      This either has nothing at all to do with the drug, or you’ve never been off of it during your entire time posting here.

      1. Drugs experiences are subjective, so you don’t know how it effects anyone other than yourself.
        Christ why do you feel the need to criticize me harshly?

        “It’s both” why do you fucking care if a stranger classifies it as a psychedelic or not?

        Mellow out mother fucker!

        1. What’s more important, as the author claims, is that it helps you become a more useful tool of society, while feeling more alive in your your subservient state.

      2. Does it make you feel superior like a big man beating down someone else’s opinion? All it did was show us your true colors as an asshole!

  12. Wow; All man’s biggest accomplishments came from enlightened druggies???? lol…. Right; Just not seeing it.

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  14. No one will need self-discovery after the fascists take over in January.
    Twitter and facebook will tell you what to think and do.
    You will accept the assigned role, and enjoy it. Or else.

  15. Hmm. After a half dozen trips to combat and seeing countless people shot to pieces, I think I may have a little dose of that PTSD everyone is talking about.
    Do I,
    A. Go to the VA, get treated like a piece of garbage, wait for months and years to be evaluated and treated, have them lose paperwork repeatedly, then be told that they don’t have any doctors available or that I will need to find a doctor that I will have to pay out of pocket or………
    B. Stay home, trip balls, and chase my old lady around like she “is new”?

    Hell yeah, Man! Bring on the MDMA! I know I still have a few chemlights lying around and some old Trance music from Germany. To quote Matt Damon, “Let the healing begin”!

  16. Stop.
    The.
    Drug.
    War.
    NOW!

  17. Chewing on this, with great interest, and a lot of puzzlement.

    I THINK I like it, but can’t say for sure.

    No combat, but a couple of old ladies, both of whom I will always love.

  18. The author hasn’t learned that these types of drugs along with other intoxicating drugs (minus caffeinated coffee and the nicotine in your cigarettes) are for use by people who don’t have to get up in the morning. He’s one of them. (In other words, “Not the ideal thing for the working class.”)

  19. Hey, Charles, did you see the episode of Homicide Hunter: Joe Kenda in which the PD nabs three armed robbers/murderers that cut an innocent girl’s throat and left her to die? They dropped LSD before their adventure — maybe to help themselves function better.

  20. Please, Left-Libertarians, so-called, take all the drugs you can lay your hands on and rid us of your idiocy. Natural Selection is waiting for you ….

  21. Really wonderful, uplifting interview that makes me hopeful for the future.