In an interview with GQ magazine, the star admitted that her parents sent her to boarding school in her teens in the hope that she would "get sober".
"I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day," she said. "I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so f**king cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born To Die is about these wilderness years.
"My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, 'I'm f**ked. I am totally f**ked'."
The 'Video Games' singer added that although she used to romanticise her behaviour, she is now aware of how destructive it was.
"At first it's fine and you think you have a dark side," she said. "It's exciting - and then you realise 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. [You're] a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me."
Del Rey was recently named GQ's 'Woman of the Year'. She is due to play the iTunes Festival on September 25, before releasing a repackaged 'Paradise Edition' of her debut album Born To Die in November.
Watch the video for Lana Del Rey's latest single 'Summertime Sadness' below: