Lana Del Rey Didn't Let Her "Dark Side" Win

By May Wilkerson 09/10/12

The singer says her teen struggle with addiction—which led to a stint in boarding school—was "the worst thing that ever happened to me." 

Lana Del Rey bares all for GQ. Photo via

Indie pop singer and GQ's "Woman of the Year" Lana Del Rey has revealed that she struggled with substance abuse in her teens, and these "wilderness years" influenced her recent album, Born to Die. “I was a big drinker at the time,” she tells GQ. “I would drink every day. I would drink alone…I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else." Her worried parents sent her to boarding school in hopes it would help her kick the habit—at just 14 years old. "At first it's fine and you think you have a dark side—it's exciting—and then you realize the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It’s also a completely different way of living when you know that…a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me.” Things seem to be on the up for the 26-year-old singer-songwriter, who appeared on Saturday Night Live in January, and is now working on her third album. Del Rey first opened up publicly about her addictions earlier this year on YouTube: when one commenter expressed thanks for her "Carmen" video, about a teenage meth addict, the star responded, "I got clean too, so I know how it goes.”

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.