EUROPE – Detectives investigating mass intoxication at a conference in Germany have not ruled out prosecuting some delegates.
A total of 160 police, fire fighters, and ambulance staff and a helicopter were deployed after a group of 29 alternative healers were hallucinating, staggering around, groaning and rolling on the grass at a meeting in Handeloh, south of Hamburg.
Police spokesman Lars Nicklesen told reporters that investigators believe a psychedelic drug was to blame but they are not sure how or why it was taken.
Police suspect the group took 2C-E, known in Germany as Aquarust, a drug which heightens perceptions of colours and sounds and in higher doses triggers hallucinations, psychosis and severe cramps.
Germany’s health ministry banned the drug last year due to its highly addictive nature and unknown side effects.
Staff at the conference centre had all gone home at the time of the incident last Friday.
A spokeswoman for the Tanzheimat Inzmühlen conference centre told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper: “We’re absolutely shocked, we’ve only had good experiences in the past with the group.”
The newspaper reported that in one clinic, the Asklepios in Harburg, hallucinating patients had to be strapped down to a bed to prevent them causing danger to others.
“They were completely off their heads,” a spokesman said.