'Jersey Shore' returns: Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino clean and sober

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"All right, we've got a situation here," says a familiar voice. 

Right now that situation is the final season of "The Jersey Shore" launching tonight (Thursday, Oct. 4) with a still-pregnant Snooki Polizzi and a recently clean and sober Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

Given that the world has already met Lorenzo, Snooki's now 5-week-old baby, this was shot a while back.

MTV felt strongly enough about Sorrentino's return to lead off with shots of his family in Manalapan, New Jersey, gathered around the dinner table.

"The last couple of months I have been really working on getting back to who I really am," he says in the opening of the episode. "I was dependent on prescription pills. I knew I needed help and I went to rehab."

There is absolutely no posturing or bravado as Sorrentino, 30, says on camera, "Rehab is the most unbearable, unpleasant experience you could possibly go through but I am the cleanest and healthiest I have ever been since I was 21 or so."

In an interview, with Zap2it, Sorrentino reflects on his sobriety, before his publicist cuts in to try to redirect the questions.

"As far as I am concerned, it is behind me," he says of a reliance on painkillers. "I am a young adult and I went down the wrong road, and now, hopefully, I am on the right road."

Despite the epic drinking that takes place on the show, the rehab was not a result of drinking.  And despite online reports to the contrary, Sorrentino maintains his sobriety.

"It was only for a prescription pills," he says. "Everyone thought it was alcohol, not prescription painkillers." 

"I'm the cleanest and healthiest I have ever been since maybe I was 21 or so," says the 30-year-old, who was recently on the U.K. version of "Big Brother."
Photo/Video credit: MTV