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14 Crazy Ways People Get High

Changaa

Changaa (literal meaning “kill me quick”is an alcoholic drink which is popular in Kenya. Distilled from grains like millet, maize and sorghum, it is very potent. Its production and distribution is controlled in many cases by criminal gangs like the Mungiki. Gang violence in the Nairobi slum of Mathare escalated after local brewers asked another gang to intervene against the Mungiki when they increased their “tax” on the drink. Illegally brewed changaa could be purchased for around US$0.15 to $0.25 per glass. The drink is sometimes adulterated by adding substances like jet fuel, embalming fluid or battery acid, which has the effect of giving the beverage more ‘kick’. Drinkers have suffered blindness or death due to methanol poisoning. In Nairobi slums like Korogocho, the water used to make the drink is often contaminated with feces, and women’s underwear along with decomposing dead rats have been found in the drink during police raids.

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