Caroline's Catalog of Curious Conditions: Sneezeberry Addiction
Of all the things to make it out of the Myrdhor Desert the Sneezeberry is perhaps the one that has caused the most harm to the world at large. It serves no real medical purpose due to the side effects far outweighing the usefulness. The fact that it thrives almost anyplace there is moisture should come as no surprise since it is native to one of the most inhospital places in the world. The berries are sweet, and not immediately dangerous. It is the later on effects that lead to detriment. First one eats the berries, which appear as a small, blue verson of the prickly pear. They are sweet and upon consumption leave the body with a tingling sensation that by all accounts is pleasent. This is accompanied initially by a feeling of euphoria and leaves the mouth stained a blue color. Both the euphoria and tingling appear to be addictive in nature, and as the body builds up a tolerance more and more berries need to be eaten to attain similar effects leaving the mouth, tongue and lips stained a permanent blue. As long as you keep eating the berries, there is nothing else you need to fear, besides the potential for overdose leading to death by respiratory failure. Well, and there is the bit about sneezing fits waking you up and the detrimental and cumulative effects of lack of sleep. Of couser, should you decide that you dont need to eat more of the Sneezeberries you are not necessarily in for a better time. First come the cravings. While the cravings can be mitigated by eating other sweet fruits, they are the most mild of symptoms. The more insidious symptom is the sneezing fits that grip one. Now biologically speaking this ensures that while the seeds are transported far enough from the parent to not compete they are still close enough to be in a survivable habitat. Of course in a desert where most of the denizens want to kill and eat you this is particularly dangerous. The sneezing fits get worse and worse the more of the berries you eat. I have personally witnessed no fewer than 15 cases where the sneezing fits were so violent that the patient experienced brain damage to due to the violent nature of these fits. Of these patients only 6 were able to maintian their employment, another 6 had to be cared for by their family, but could accomplish simple tasks if given clear direction and supervision, the other 3 died due to brain hemmorage. As with many drugs It is possible to ween on off of Sneezeberries. The safest way it to closely monitor the patient. Figure out how many berries they eat is a sitting. Restrain them, and once the sneezing fit starts, feed them 1 less berry than they had the time before. Continue this until they can go an entire day without a single berry. At this point, they should be cured and given enough time even the blue tint of the skin in and around the mouth will fade but one must beware of relapse.