A FORMER drug addict has made a DVD warning young people about the dangers of dabbling in alcohol and other illegal substances.

Karen Atkinson, 28, from Billericay, started smoking when she was 13 and her habit progressed to smoking cannabis which led to her taking harder drugs including cocaine and ecstasy which saw her sink into depression.

At 18 after confiding in a family friend Karen’s parents found about the extent of their daughters addiction and she went to stay at The Priory clinic in Chelmsford to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

Now Karen, who has a six-year-old son, wants to make a series of six DVDs aimed at teenagers and parents warning of the dangers of everything from drugs and alcohol to eating disorders and teenage pregnancy.

The DVD is called Think About It and Karen wants to make five more films covering a variety of topics effecting teenagers.

Karen said: “The first DVD covers alcohol, drugs and teenage sex and the first 15 minutes is a short film which was filmed with youngsters from a drama school in Rochford.

“My friend runs the school and after I wrote the scene she helped me write up a script and chose which young people to play the characters.

“It was actually filmed in and around my home and the teenagers, who were aged between 12 and 16, had a great time and said they would definitely watch it.

“This is a new business venture for me and I hope I can turn it into a success, I have got into a bit of debt but hopefully it will be a success.”

Karen has also started her own website www.realiteen.co.uk