“Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his wife, Lauren Sorrentino, told their story of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction on March 3 in Shippensburg University's Ceddia Union Building multi purpose room.
Mike Sorrentino rose to fame on the reality show, “Jersey Shore.” Throughout his adult life, Sorrentino said he was addicted to prescription painkillers and was in and out of rehab.
Mike, now four years sober, his wife and members of the SU community came together for a discussion on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
As a former addict, Mike talked about his journey through rehabilitation.
Mike entered rehabilitation facilities four separate times for his drug and alcohol addiction. He also spent eight months in jail for tax evasion.
He said his turning point came after hearing that “It costs zero dollars to be a kind person.”
Mike said it changed him for the better, and that seeking professional help and his fitness goals saved his life.
One of Mike’s biggest suggestions for a recovering addict is healthy boundaries. He explained the importance of recognizing toxic relationships that encourage addiction. Mike said learning to set boundaries is an important step toward recovery.
Mike said he strives to be addicted to progress.
“Go for your dreams, find something you love doing and don't stop doing it,” he said.
Mike told attendees to celebrate small victories when overcoming a challenge.
“Small victories, whether they are mental, physical, spiritual, personal or professional, are my spark,” he said.
Sorrentino and his wife faced the struggles and consequences of addiction together. The Sorrentinos are college sweethearts who married in November 2018. Through their separate experiences with drugs and alcohol, the Sorrentinos said they have encouraged each other through tough times.
Lauren told her perspective as the wife of an addict in recovery citing the importance of having faith in each other.
“You're going through it too, just from another perspective,” Lauren said. “Tough love and believing in them goes a long way.”
Zoe Zambito, a SU senior, asked Lauren if she ever hid her own alcohol from Mike.
“I did at first, but doing that [for Mike] actually helped me quit drinking,” she said.
Mike is back on television and is working on a “Jersey Shore” reunion show. The Sorrentinos are also on a show that features the couple as they deal with the rehabilitation process and the consequences of life as an addict.
Mike currently works with several treatment centers and is a guest speaker who travels to schools and businesses telling his story of addiction
The SU Connection (Alcohol and Other Drugs) Program funded the event with a grant received in 2019. For more information on addiction and recovery help, visit samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline and niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help.