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September 16, 2014

Jersey Shore star shares his story with students

By Jaychelle Willis

When you hear Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino’s name mentioned you instantly think GTL — gym, tan, laundry. To the outside world, one sees a man who has everything the world could offer; rock-hard abs, girls, fame and money. However, in reality, the situation was facing his own “situation.”

Members of the Campus Activites Board pose for a photo with MTV Celebrity Mike "The Situation" (center) Aug. 28.Jersey Shore began on Dec. 3, 2009 on MTV with its last episode airing on Dec. 20, 2012. The reality series followed eight strangers turned into roommates from the New York/New Jersey area, spending their summers at the Jersey Shore. With a show consisting of four, twenty-something “Guidos” and “Guidettes” (males and females), the surly series was filled with partying, hook-ups, drama and fights. Lasting six seasons, the Jersey Shore was a breakout success, making it the MTV’s highest rated series ever — averaging 1.375 million viewers its first episode.

One of the most popular individuals from the series was “GTL” creator Mike “The Situation.” The moment he appeared on your screen you knew whether you were going to love him or hate him. Then, at age 27, Sorrentino proclaimed himself “The Situation” because of his muscular physique. From his metrosexual attitude, to his funny yet slightly offensive comments, his egoistic personality made him a breakout reality success. At the height of the show’s success Sorrentino was earning $150,000 per episode.

Sorrentino’s popularity with the Jersey Shore landed him the opportunity to branch out into other ventures. Some of his ventures include endorsements from Devotion Vodka and Reebok, a workout DVD, vitamin line, clothing line and a published autobiography book. Sorrentino’s success also allowed him to appear on other major network television series, including Celebrity edition of reality TV show Big Brother and Dancing with the Stars.

During season 11 of Dancing with the Stars, Sorrentino injured his neck and back while performing with partner Karina Smirnoff. The duo was eliminated from the competition during the fourth week.

According to Sorrentino, the injury he sustained on the hit competition series in 2010 is what later caused his life to go in a downward spiral.
Due to the injury, Sorrentino was prescribed opioid painkillers by his doctor. Over time, he became addicted.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Sorrentino said it wasn’t until he ran out of his prescription while in Australia in 2012 that he realized he had a problem.
“All I had to do was get dressed for a family function, and I couldn’t do that,” said Sorrentino. “The shirt was laid out, the belt, the pants, everything. The shower was on. I couldn’t even get out of bed.”

Soon after this realization, he checked himself into a rehab facility.
As the spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Sorrentino now spends some of his time visiting colleges, associations and health groups in an effort to spread knowledge and understanding about opioid prescription painkiller addiction.

In his visit to Cleveland State University on Aug. 28, Sorrentino spoke to a crowd of fans about his addiction and recovery titled “Twelve Rounds: My Personal Battle with Addiction and My Road to Recovery.”

During the visit, Sorrentino went into vivid detail of his experience with trying to get clean.
Now 32 years old, and almost a year sober, Sorrentino co-owns a tanning salon named Boca Tanning Salon in Middletown, NJ with his family.

You can also catch him on your television screen again, however there won’t be any “t-shirt time” this time around. Airing on the TV Guide Network on Tuesdays, “The Sorrentinos” follows Sorrentino’s life after Jersey Shore, as well as his family and their struggles and success with the family business.