Aug. 23, 2023 – “I drank more than I’ve ever drank in my life,” she says of the fateful night in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “I remember a hangover that lasted for a couple weeks. I was so depressed, I didn’t think I was going to make it out of that.”

But make it out she did. Wade quit drinking that day and hasn’t looked back, though she admits it hasn’t always been easy. The “Wilder Days” singer says she looked to Russell Brand’s book Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions for guidance, and became fixated on sparkling water as an alcohol alternative.

“I’ve had tough moments even in the last few months where it’s been really hard,” she says of maintaining her sobriety. “It’s been so long that I have to remind myself the reasons why I’m sober. As time goes on you’re like, ‘Well, maybe I’m different now. Maybe I could drink and not be the same person.’ And then it’s like, ‘No, you’ve got to stay away.’”

Wade says she didn’t come from a family of drinkers, and only took up the habit at 19, when she went to college. There, she was studying to eventually become a cardiothoracic surgeon — but quickly found that she liked the effects of alcohol.