A few weeks ago I spoke with reality television star Michael Sorrentino. If that name doesn’t ring a bell to you, maybe it’s because you think of him as “The Situation” from MTV’s Jersey Shore. Sorrentino’s life was on display throughout six seasons of the show, and he has recently begun speaking out about his prescription painkiller addiction.
In our discussion, Sorrentino talked about how his addiction began – when he was prescribed prescription painkillers after being injured on reality show Dancing with the Stars. He also shared how his addiction grew worse over time, and when he hit his bottom. Since going to treatment and following a specific regimen of medication, Sorrentino has been able to stay in recovery and now hopes to encourage others to do the same.
He has partnered with Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. to launch a new public health initiative titled “Reset Reality.” The campaign sets out to increase knowledge and understanding of the prevalence, science and treatment of opioid prescription painkiller addiction. Community ambassadors from across the country, including Sorrentino, share their personal stories of taking prescription painkillers for pain relief or recreational use, to becoming dependent and finding the strength to start over. Reset Reality ambassadors aim to share their message across the country in order to motivate others to seek treatment and show Americans that this chronic disease can happen to anyone and they can overcome it.
If you’d like to hear part of our conversation, please listen to the podcast below.