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Former cannabis addict Jade Clement wins Diana Award for drug awareness campaign
A POOLE teenager who battled a cannabis addiction has won an award for her campaign warning of the dangers associated with the drug.
Jade Clement, aged 17, has been recognised with a ‘courageous citizen’ award in memory of the Princess of Wales.
She’s been working with the national charity, Fixers, which supports young people aged 16 to 25 on a number of issues.
Jade first started experimenting with drugs aged 13 and at the height of her addiction was stealing from her family to fund her habit.
After receiving the award she said: “This is such an amazing honour. It makes me feel that all those dark times I went through were somehow worth it because now I am helping others and that has been recognised.”
Student Jade said she her first experience of cannabis was after friends encouraged her to try it.
“At first it seemed like fun to try something new,” she explained. “But eventually I started to withdraw from my friends and family, preferring to local myself in my room and smoke cannabis alone.
“By the time I was 16 I was meeting my dealer every day and stealing money from my family to fund my addiction.
“The drugs caused me to become paranoid, selfish and, at one point, I even lost the ability to read and write.”
Jade said she decided to turn her life around when her mum discovered the true extend of her problem.
“I felt disappointed with myself for becoming someone I never wanted to be and for missing out on life,” she said.
Jade is now part of the Diana Network, a programme offering young people the chance to gain life skills through internships and work placements in the UK.
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