The 32-year-old former Jersey Shore star realized he had an addiction problem on a trip to Australia in February 2012.
He ran out of a prescription to treat an injury suffered during a 2010 stint 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,” Sorrentino said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. “The shirt was laid out, the belt, the pants, everything. The shower was on. I couldn’t even get out of bed,” he said. Then he thought, “If I can’t do that how am I going to continue?”
Mike checked into a rehab facility and was prescribed Suboxone. Sorrentino still takes it daily and says that, combined with counseling, is what works best for him.
The realty T.V. star is now a paid spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the company that makes the medication he’s taking.
Buprenorphine with naloxone, better known by its brand name Suboxone, is a medication used for opiate dependence. The purpose of the medication is to assist individuals addicted to opiates (prescription pain medication or heroin) who want to stop abusing these substances.
Individuals with opiate addictions struggle to get abstinent due to very painful withdrawal symptoms, like pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme cravings. Suboxone is sometimes used to “detox”, or get opiate addicted people off of their pain pills or heroin without such a drastic withdrawal.
However, some addiction treatment professionals continue to prescribe the drug for months to years after painkiller or heroin use has stopped. This is known as Suboxone maintenance.
Suboxone maintenance is highly controversial in the drug treatment industry. While it has been shown to reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms in opiate dependent patients, it does not decrease the rate of relapse, and in fact, may make the user more prone to relapse.
In addition, Suboxone is still considered to have opiate properties and there has been debate as to whether a person on Suboxone can consider themselves abstinent from drugs. Twelve step recovery programs will sometimes consider someone on Suboxone unable to accrue “clean time” or “sober time” (time free from drugs and alcohol) until they are off of this medication.
What do you think? Is Suboxone maintenance a valid treatment for opiate addiction? Or is it just a form of drug substitution? Is it irresponsible of “The Situation” to use his fame to endorse this highly controversial medication? Let us know in the comments!
If you or someone you love is in need of treatment for addiction to heroin, pain pills, or Suboxone, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.