Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino was spending $600,000 a year on opioids and cocaine before hitting 'rock bottom'

The 41-year-old "Jersey Shore" star spoke to Kaitlyn Bristowe about drug use and sobriety in a new podcast interview.

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino spoke candidly about drug use and his road to sobriety. (Image via Getty Images)

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is getting candid about his struggle with addiction. On a recent episode of Kaitlyn Bristowe's podcast "Off The Vine," the "Jersey Shore" star, 41, shared an intimate recount of his battle with addiction and his path to recovery.

Here's what we learned from his appearance.

Sorrentino began by reflecting on his early years, describing himself as a "quiet" and "sweet" child, but demeanour changed drastically when he entered high school. "Once I got to high school, that's when I started to sort of blossom and become a people person. I became a class clown," he explained.

Another turning point came when Sorrentino was around 19 years old, with the divorce of his parents. He admitted that this life event may have set him on a troubled path. "That could explain some of those years after that, which I became even wilder and became a drug dealer," he said.

Sorrentino (far right) with the cast of
Sorrentino (far right) with the cast of "Jersey Shore" in 2010. (Image via Getty Images)

Sorrentino's career in reality television began at the age of 26 when he joined the cast of "Jersey Shore." "I always wanted to be in the spotlight or on TV. I actually wanted to be in movies," he said.

With fame came increased substance abuse, Sorrentino admitted. "I'll be honest, I was just a young man experimenting... like most people... I was just to the extreme, you know? It's probably part of that personality — it's all or nothing... That's how I'm finally now nine years clean and sober — because I realized it was all or nothing."

The father-of-three also opened up about his descent into addiction that led to extreme substance abuse.

"I put all hands on deck in 2015... I remained sober year after year and then eventually once I had rebuilt my life back and I had this beautiful foundation and family that's when I started to give back," he said.

Despite his efforts, things took a turn for the worse in 2015 when he tried heroin for the first time, something he previously thought he would never try. "There was definitely a couple moments between 2010 to 2015 there was a rock bottom moment," he recalled.

Sorrentino and his wife Lauren, at a 2015 event. (Image via Getty Images)
Sorrentino and his wife Lauren, at a 2015 event. (Image via Getty Images)

At the time, the star was in the midst of legal proceedings against the U.S government. He would eventually serve eight months in prison for federal tax evasion. While dealing with the stress of his legal issues, Sorrentino said "Somebody threw a bundle of heroin on my lap."

Sorrentino recalled a moment of contemplation when he unwrapped a bundle of heroin before trying it for the first time. "I'm like, 'What if I just try a little bit? It's not a big deal. I have a very high tolerance from my opiate usage. I'm like, I'm going to be all right, I'm not gonna die.'" A timely phone call from his mother and a knock on the door from his girlfriend, now wife, proved to be the intervention he needed to seek out going to rehab.

At the peak of his addiction, Sorrentino was spending exorbitant amounts on drugs. "My accountants informed me that I had spent upwards of $500,000 to $600,000 on Oxycodone and cocaine," he told Bristowe. This financial strain left him three months behind on rent and facing possible eviction, adding to his "depression and self-doubt."

Now, nearly nine years sober, Sorrentino has become a vocal advocate for those struggling with addiction. His journey to recovery included therapy, anger management and continuous self-awareness, he explained.

"I've learned through anger management, I've learned through therapy, I've learned from trial and error over many, many years," he said. He noted the importance of addressing addiction on multiple fronts: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Sorrentino (pictured in 2023) has been sober for nine years. (Image via Getty Images)
Sorrentino (pictured in 2023) has been sober for nine years. (Image via Getty Images)

"You need to address all three. You can't just detox yourself and be like 'I'm peaches.' It doesn't work like that, you know? It's a lot deeper than that."

Sorrentino's advice to others is clear: "Don't give up on yourself... you have to understand that we're all human and we all make mistakes. It's OK to raise your hand and say, 'I need help.'"

In 2019, Sorrentino served time in jail for tax fraud, a period during which he was already three years sober.

"Once I got to prison, it was like I had already faced the devil and found an amazing program that was working for me," he shared. Upon his release, he continued to pursue his television career on "Jersey Shore Family Vacation," navigating the challenges of sobriety while remaining in the public eye. "This is what I want to do for a living. I want to continue to go for my dreams, I want to continue to make TV shows."

Sorrentino credited the success of his sobriety to his wife, who has been a steadfast support. "She has saved my life many times," he praised.

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