It's no secret that Jessa, Jemima Kirke's character in the hit HBO show "Girls," struggles with substance abuse.
In season one, viewers find out Jessa dropped out of Oberlin College (where she first met Lena Dunham's character, Hannah) after developing a drug habit. Then, she opens season three with a stint in rehab. By season four, Jessa is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with her soon-to-be lover, Adam.
As it turns out, Jessa's struggles aren't too far from Kirke's own IRL experiences.
Earlier this week, Kirke appeared on author Anna David’s podcast, "Recover Girl," where she talked candidly about her past drug and alcohol abuse.
Kirke reminded listeners that alcohol addiction is not a "one size fits all" type of situation — but society's skewed perception of addiction makes it difficult to determine when a person has a substance-abuse problem.
Although she ultimately needed to seek treatment for her drinking, Kirke claimed she didn't need alcohol in order to function.
Rather, she viewed drinking as a "tool" that she could use whenever she deemed necessary.
She explained to David, "I didn't relate to the psychic need for the alcohol. I recognized it as a tool and I know how to use it as a tool. I'm not someone who drinks excessively, but I will drink for a reason sometimes."
Kirke abused alcohol in a way that's often brushed off as "college partying."
According to a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2013, 39% of college students ages 18–22 said they engaged in binge drinking (five or more drinks on a single occasion) at least one time per month.
However, instead of seeing these practices as problematic, many young adults simply view extreme drinking as a part of "college culture."
Kirke, then in her early 20s, also thought this type of substance abuse was "normal."
"I liked to party," she said.
"I just went hard when I went. I would do a lot of three-day benders. That was like a party. That was normal."
Unfortunately, dangerous drinking habits aren't always viewed as an "issue" if they're infrequent.
But at the end of the day, occasional binge drinking is still alcohol abuse.
"It takes a long time to come back from a three-day bender and you've lost a week of your life," Kirke reminded listeners.