Will Young was addicted to "love, porn and alcohol" because of the "shame" of his sexuality.
The 'Joy' singer told his friends and family he was gay when he was 21 years old but that meant he had suffered "17 years of shame" and struggled to "fill the void" within himself.
Speaking at National Student Pride 2016 at the University of Westminster over the weekend, Will said: "I was a love addict, I still am an addict, addicted to porn, certainly addicted to alcohol.
"I'd never been on a date without having at least two drinks before I'd left the house and I didn't even notice that was a problem...
"I will keep coming back to shame because it's such a fundamental thing.
"Until I conquered it I just kept having sex to fill the void, watching porn, shopping, anything, and I think we are told that as soon as we come out everything will be OK, but it's just not the case.
"It is different being a young LGBT person because if you are heterosexual you are not dealing with a huge backlog of sexual shame and shame of your identity."
The 37-year-old pop star admitted he had "toyed" with drugs but never developed a habit.
He added: "Drugs I didn't really get into. I toyed around with it, but it didn't really stick with me so much."
Will - who sought treatment at a residential trauma centre in 2012 - is campaigning for schools to teach children about sexuality from a younger age.
He said: "There's a huge gap where we are ignoring young people. We focused, I think rightfully so, on legal rights.
"What I've noticed in witnessing statistics is there is a huge void where the government is not focusing on nurturing young LGBT people in schools.
"The prime thought I think is that difference is not recognised in this country.
"We are basically all different and we cannot be the same.
"So to promote difference in schools would just allow everyone to grow up more accepting and loving."