Kerry Katona is ‘amazed’ she’s still alive after alcoholic mum got her hooked on drugs at 14 by pretending they were sweets – The Sun
SHE became an addict at just 14 years old after her alcoholic mum gave her drugs – telling her they were “sherbet dip”.
And by 28, with three failed marriages and years of drug abuse behind her, Kerry Katona was suicidal.
It was only the thought of her five children -Molly, Lily, Heide, Maxwell and Dylan-Jorge – that pulled her back from the brink.
She says that for years she used cocaine as a crutch to help her with mental health issues and personal problems, but that it only made things ten times worse.
“I call it devils dandruff because it's toxic, it’s manipulating, it gives a false sense of security, it’s not really there for you, it's ruining you," she says.
"It's an escapism. Taking coke is better than facing the scariest thing going on in your life. You’re constantly chasing that buzz and you don't want the come down. The downers are awful."
"After taking drugs I used to have fits. My eyes would roll back and I’d be frothing at the mouth," she says “I could have died, I could have chocked on my own tongue, my own saliva."
After years of drug abuse, even Kerry is shocked she’s still alive and is conscious that she’s one of the lucky ones.
Tragically, it is too late for her ex-husband George Kay, 39, who was found dead at the weekend after a suspected cocaine overdose – just days after Kerry gave this interview passionately warning of the dangers of cocaine.
Devastated Kerry – who shared a daughter, Dylan, 5, with George – is now in Warrington supporting George's family and has visited his body in the morgue.
George was suffering from mental health problems including anxiety and depression, and Kerry is now more desperate than ever to warn people off cocaine.
She explains how her own drug addiction started at 14 – an age when the strongest thing most kids will have tried is a cigarette.
“My mum was a lesbian at the time and she was with her girlfriend in this pub and she had this bag of white powder.
“She said it's sherbet, dipped her finger in the bag and put it in my mouth – it was speed!"
“I went back out and sat with my mum and everyone was dead happy and I got this massive rush of adrenaline – I thought this is what people must do,” explains Kerry, who shot to fame with girl band Atomic Kitten in the late 1990s.
“I did cocaine every weekend after that, I just thought that’s what everyone did."
“I'd save my pocket money off my foster parents and go and get a bag of cocaine. I actually thought people who don’t do drugs were snobs!”
Kerry is backing The Sun Online’s End Of The Line campaign, which is raising awareness of the impact cocaine use can have on mental health.
Cocaine use among young people is on the rise, with 20 per cent of 16-24-year-olds admitting using in the last year.
Both Love Island’s Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon had cocaine and alcohol in their systems when they killed themselves.
Kerry continued to take cocaine during her days in Atomic Kitten – using it to help with a fame she says was overwhelming – but managed to get clean after her marriage to Westlife star Brian McFadden in 2002, moving to Ireland with him and having two children, Molly and Lily.
However, their marriage broke down 2004 and Brian went on to date Australian singer Delta Goodrem after their divorce. Kerry had a nervous breakdown and ended up back on cocaine.
“I felt suicidal, I felt dirty, I had no friends. I was constantly in another world all of the time.
When I finally realised what my habit was doing to me I had to fight against it," she says.
Against all the odds, Kerry managed to get clean ten years ago.
She says she hit rock bottom sitting in a car park with her mum, doing lines of cocaine.
"I was going 'I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want it'. I wanted to get out of my skin," says Kerry.
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