Homeopathy conference ends abruptly when attendees take hallucinogenic drug

A conference of homeopaths in Germany ended when 29 attendees apparently ingested a hallucinogenic substance that caused hallucinations and serious physical symptoms that resulted in emergency medical personnel being dispatched.

The Independent:

Broadcaster NDR described the 29 men and women “staggering around, rolling in a meadow, talking gibberish and suffering severe cramps”.

The group of "Heilpraktikers" was discovered at the hotel where they held their conference in the town of Handeloh, south of Hamburg, on Friday.

More than 150 medical staff, ambulances and police descended on the scene and took the raving delegates to hospital.

The patients, aged between 24 and 56, were found suffering from delusions, breathing problems, racing hearts and cramps, with some in a serious condition, Deutsche Welle reported.

Tests on their blood and urine revealed they had all taken hallucinogenic drug 2C-E, which is known as Aquarust in Germany and has been illegal there since the end of last year.

No one recovered sufficiently to be interviewed by police until Monday, a spokesperson said.

Torsten Passie, a member of the German government’s expert commission for narcotics, told NDR: “It must have been a multiple overdose. That does not support the view that the people concerned took the hallucinogen knowingly.

“One has to assume that people were not told about the substance, its effects and risks before taking it.”

Homeopathy has been vastly oversold as "alternative" medicine, although scientific studies show it can be useful when used in conjunction with traditional medicine. Was someone trying to make a point and slipped the drug into food or drink? Homeopathy has passionate enemies and it is not beyond the realm of the possible that someone would seek to destroy their credibility.

But this appears to be a prank gone horribly wrong. If you don't know you've ingested an hallucinogen, it can be a terribly frightening experience; you know something is wrong but have no idea what it is. Some people who experience a "bad trip," never recover and remain paranoid and delusional the rest of their lives. That's why whoever is behind the prank should go to jail.

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