Mike realized he had a problem while traveling to Australia in early 2012. While traveling, The Sitch ran out of the prescription drugs he had been taking to soothe an injury he suffered while appearing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
“All I had to do was get dressed for a family function and I couldn’t do that,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press early this week. “The shirt was laid out, the belt, the pants, everything. The shower was on. I couldn’t even get out of bed, ” he continued. Then he thought to himself, “If I can’t do that how am I going to continue?”
At the time, rumors had been circulating that he was struggling with substance abuse issues, but the reality star maintains that the rumors were false.
“Those rumors were definitely false. I didn’t mix anything,” he said.
Mike checked himself into rehab, where he was prescribed a medication to treat his opioid addiction. He still takes the medication daily and says that coupled with his counseling is what works best for him.
The 32-year-old now serves as a representative for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the company that manufactures his medication. He is also responsible for helping to launch a program called Reset Reality to create awareness of opioid prescription painkiller addictions.
According to The Situation, the path to uncovering his addiction was not an easy one. In fact, many members in his family realized his struggle long before he did, mainly because they noticed a shift in Mike’s personality.
The biggest give away for members of The Situation’s family was the fact that he gave up the one thing he had been so passionate about: working out. He also recalls hearing people say, “Mike’s not the same Mike we’ve seen before.” His response was always the same: “I don’t know what they’re talking about” or he’d credit it to people disliking him or the MTV series. Now he realizes, “I was suffering a disease.”
Fresh out of rehab, Mike was faced with an important decision: head back to the Shore for one final season, or sit this one out?
“A little part of me was like, ‘How am I gonna get through this?’ but if you watched I didn’t have one drink.”
The show aired its final episode in December 2012. Since then, Mike says he’s “gotten back to who Michael is.”
He now focuses on his health and fitness, family, cooking and his love life. That’s right, ladies. The Situation and his rockin’ abs are off the market.
As far as his career, Mike hopes to get back into show business in the future and will be making career announcements soon, but his main focus is staying healthy.
“The roller coaster of fame and fortune is definitely a ride in itself but to get to recovery is something special…There is hope out there and you can get help.”
We’re so proud of how far Mike has come since his fist pumpin’ guido days. Keep on keepin’ on.
Photo credit: Getty images || SOURCE: LA Times