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Hospitals release 'rave' drug OD victims

MINNEAPOLIS -- Most of the people who fell ill this week in a mass drug overdose that left one person dead have been released from hospitals, authorities said Friday.

Ten people were hospitalized after taking a rave-party drug called 2C-E on Wednesday at a spring break gathering in suburban Minneapolis.

By Friday, at least nine had been released, including one of two who had been listed in critical condition.

Anoka County sheriff's detective Larry Johnson did not have information on the other critically injured person.

Police were called to a home in suburban Blaine because of a reported overdose and found several sick people. Others who fled the house were later found to be suffering from overdoses, too, investigators said.

Eleven people ranging in age from 16 to 21 were taken to hospitals. A 19-year-old man from Coon Rapids died.

Police did not release names. The boy who hosted the party was apparently among those who fell ill.

The drug, also known as "Europa," is a hallucinogen with no medical use.

Authorities in Minnesota initially said the drug had been purchased legally. But Friday, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration said the substance counts as illegal because it's so chemically similar to other drugs that are banned.

Carol Falkowski, a drug abuse strategy officer with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, said 2C-E is chemically similar to 2C-B, which is regulated as a controlled substance and therefore would not be legal to buy online. A federal law says "cousin drugs" similar to 2C-B can be considered illegal if they're intended for consumption, but the law does not specifically regulate all similar versions that have surfaced over the years, such as 2C-I and 2C-T-7.

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