Changa – fist time identification in Portugal
The Drugs and Toxicology Department of the Forensic Laboratory at Portuguese Criminal Police works 24/7 supporting Criminal investigation. The experts must be prepared to detect and currently identify drugs of abuse – classic or NPS – even when they show up in unusual preparations and/or dissimulated into different objects and materials. We also do Crime Scene processing when related with drugs (e.g. clandestine laboratories, plantations; trafficking scenarios, etc.)
In this context, at the beginning of the summer of 2018, we were requested for forensic expertise at a suspected artisanal production unit of Ayahuasca, near Coimbra (center of Portugal). All the findings evidenced the production of Changa – a smoking mixture containing DMT, usually with a MAOI. During the rest of 2018 we had few more cases where Changa was detected, all them were related with the Boom Festival 2018, which occurred at Idanha-a-Nova from 22 to 29 July.
As far our knowledge goes, Changa is not common in European Countries, although rather popular in Australia. With our communication we intend to present all these interesting cases, including photos and chemical analysis.