At a hotel in a small town near Hamburg, Germany, there was chaos when around 30 people were found rolling on the floor in utter disarray, screaming and hallucinating. No, it wasn't a drug-infused psychedelic party, but a convention of naturopaths that turned scary after the participants allegedly took an overdose of an LSD-type drug.

The owner of the hotel in Handeloh was shocked to find the practitioners of alternative medicine behaving oddly and called the police. The incident occurred on Friday night (4 September). Soon, around 150 medical staff and ambulances reached the spot to provide medical care. It was not known whether the alternative medical practitioners were released from clinics after being treated.

Hamburg police said the naturopaths could have been administered the drug as a prank or may have willingly experimented with it. The drug was later identified as the banned 2C-E, also known as "Aquarust".

"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 informed about the substance, its effects and risks before intake," said Torsten Passie of the German government's expert commission for narcotics.

The psychedelic drug 2C-E or Aquarust has a euphoric effect similar to that of "ecstasy" or "speed" and gives a user a high just like synthetic amphetamines. However, "an overdose can cause delusions and psychosis-like conditions," Passie said.

The police are investigating the naturopaths for possible violation of the Narcotics Act. Urine and blood tests confirmed they had taken an overdose of the LSD-type drug, police said.

Meanwhile, president of the Association of German Naturopaths, Dr Heinz Kropmanns, said: "I dissociate myself quite strongly from what has happened at Handeloh. If I become aware that one of our members has participated in it [or taken the drug willingly], they would be excluded from the Association."

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