A homeopathy conference in Germany ended regrettably early when 29 people accidentally took “an LSD-like drug” called Aquarust and had to be rushed to the hospital, according to reports. The homeopaths were rescued after they were seen rolling around in a field near their hotel, gibbering incoherently.
The Independent reports that it’s still unclear how the 29 people came to take the drug; they were gathered in the town of Handeloh for a conference on homeopathy, and at least one German news outlet speculates that someone dosed them as a “macabre joke,” or else that the group took it together as an experiment:
Aquarust is a psychedelic, also called “Europa” or “Tootsie,” and it’s not widely known or used outside of Germany and Austria; it’s illegal in both countries, as well as Switzerland and the United States. It’s also known as 2-CE, short for its chemical compound. A not-very-good Wikipedia article says the drug can be taken orally or nasally and can cause vivid visual hallucinations. Drug experimenters on Erowid call the visual effects “gorgeous,” and one guy credits it with helping him quit smoking. On the other hand, it’s best known in the United States for killing a teenager at a party in 2011 and leaving ten other people hospitalized.
The Independent reports that all 29 people were still recovering on Monday and hadn’t yet spoken to police; in the meantime, the Association of German Healing Practitioners (that’s a thing!) quickly issued a stern statement distancing itself from the situation, saying they have no idea who this particular homoepaths are or what they were doing in that dang field:
“The organisers of this obscure conference are unknown to us and such events will not be tolerated by our Association,” a spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, the conference in Handeloh has severely damaged the image of the alternative medicine profession…and we have clarified that such acts are not in the spirit of natural therapy, and contradict our values both morally and legally.
“The Association of German Healing Practitioners (Heilpraktikers) detests such misdemeanours.”
A pile of 2-CE. Photo via Wikimedia Commons