PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Jon Bon Jovi, whose daughter suffered an apparent drug overdose last year, plans to join Gov. Chris Christie when he signs into law Thursday a good Samaritan bill intended to assure that a fear of prosecution doesn't get in the way of medical help for overdose victims.
The New Jersey law will shield from prosecution both overdose victims and those seeking medical help for them if they act in good faith.
The issue hits close to home for Bon Jovi. The rocker's daughter apparently overdosed on heroin in a dorm at Hamilton College in upstate New York last year.
Prosecutors dropped drug charges against Stephanie Bongiovi and another student under New York's own Good Samaritan 911 law, which was designed to reduce overdose deaths by encouraging people to call 911 without fear of being arrested for drug possession.
The New Jersey law, in addition to protecting victims and people who seek help for them, provides civil, criminal and professional immunity to health care professionals who prescribe or administer any FDA-approved treatment for drug overdoses.
The New Jersey Legislature approved a compromise Monday that preserved the core of two bills that had been partly vetoed by the governor.
Bon Jovi, who has four children with wife Dorothea Hurley, told The Associated Press in December he was surprised to learn of his daughter's overdose, but that he hoped with help she would move forward.
"I'm shocked as much as the next parent with this situation and had no idea," said Bon Jovi, 51. "But then you surround them with best help and love and move on, and that's where we're at with it. Steph is a great kid. ... She was doing great. Then a sudden and steep decline. Hopefully, we caught it when we did and that's the end of it. But who knew? I've got three more to come."
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