"Honestly, it replaced the joy that I didn't have," the co-host admitted.
Jeannie Mai said she went through a difficult period in her life where she used drugs to mask her pain.
During Tuesday's "The Real," Jeannie opened up about her past substance abuse after her co-host Adrienne Bailon asked what made her want to try them in the first place.
"I definitely experimented, and I know now at 40 looking back that I had a really dark time in my life when I split from my family and moved out, lived in San Francisco -- like, every drug you can imagine was there -- and honestly, it replaced the joy that I didn't have," the stylist began.
"So it made me -- being high was so much more -- fun," she said using air quotes. "Because it felt like, 'Oh, I feel special,' 'I feel like a rock star,' 'I feel loved.' You say anything you want to say, you're fearless," she continued.
But coming down off the drugs eventually caused her to rethink her choices.
"And then that crash -- that crash is what made me realize that it was darker than the pain that I actually had in my life. And that led me to go, 'Oh, shoot, this ain't for me.' Because that pit -- yo, it's the dark place. It's not a place you want to go."
The panel -- including Tamera Mowry-Housley and Loni Love -- went on to discuss how parts of hip-hop culture "normalizes taking drugs" in their songs and videos, which can affect a younger generation not educated on the pitfalls of illegal substances.
"I mean we're at the club singing, 'Molly, Percocet,' like this is so easy but we're talking about things that actually kill you," explained Jeannie.
"And kids don't know what it is, so they're looking it up and then when they hear it, they're like, 'Oh, this matches that song, with that artist that looks so cool," she added.
Jeannie admitted she knew what she was doing was wrong when she abused drugs, as she was always "rebellious," but soon realized she was risking her life as well.
"And so today, I still pay consequences for being naughty. I still have to check myself and go, 'Was that really worth it?' Or in the moment how do I turn on that filter to know that that put myself in danger or risk situations that I'm in. And that took maturity, but you shouldn't have to wait until you're a grown woman because you might not get there!"
"That is real!" exclaimed Adrienne in a congratulatory tone.