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Bon Jovi, who appears in this photo with his wife Dorothea Hurley at
the White House Correspondents' Association after-party Sunday, will
accompany Gov. Chris Christie today when he signs a bill shielding from
prosecution people who report a drug overdose.Getty Images
PATERSON — When Gov. Chris
Christie signs the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act at a drug
treatment facility in Paterson today, Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi will be
at his side.
Bon Jovi has lived through the trauma of a child suffering a drug
overdose. Six months ago, authorities found 19-year-old Stephanie
Bongiovi unresponsive following a heroin overdose in her Hamilton
College dormitory in upstate New York. Police later arrested her on drug
The Sayreville-raised musician and philanthropist has spoken publicly
about the experience, telling Katie Couric on her talk show in March he
had no idea his daughter had a drug problem. "The problem is much more
prevalent than I know. I cannot get over how many people I've met that
said 'my son' or 'my daughter' … There is a lot of pressure on kids
these days," Bon Jovi said, according to published accounts of the
"She's doing great and I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers.
I'm just blessed she's healthy and whole, and we'll get through it," he
Christie is signing a bill that allows people to call 911 to report
someone has overdosed on drugs, without the fear of getting themselves
arrested for drug possession.
Only six months ago he had vetoed the bill, saying it didn't focus
enough on prevention and deterrence. But a group of families whose loved
ones had died from drug overdoses pleaded with the governor and the
legislature to find a compromise. They had testified at committee
hearings that overdoses often occur in the presence of other drug users,
but medical assistance is summoned only half the time because
bystanders fear arrest.
On Monday, Christie and the legislature approved a new bill that
provides immunity to 911 callers under most circumstances. But they
combined it with another measure that makes naloxone, an FDA-approved
remedy for drug overdoses, available to spouses, parents or guardians
who could be taught to administer the drug in an emergency.
Christie and Bon Jovi are first expected to tour Turning Point’s
facility at the Barnert Medical Arts Complex this afternoon before the
bill signing, according to the governor's office.