In November, rock star Jon Bon Jovi got a phone call that no parent ever wants to get. His daughter, 19-year-old Stephanie Bongiovi, was arrested after a suspected heroin overdose. Charges were later dropped thanks to a good samaritan law that says people who call 911 for a drug-related medical emergency can't be charged. But that didn't exactly comfort Stephanie's famous father, who told Katie Couric that hearing the news was "the worst phone call ever."
Stephanie has been in college when the incident happened. Bon Jovi, looking like any worried and somewhat exasperated father, says:
That problem is much more prevalent than anyone -- or I knew. I cannot get over how many people I've met who have said, 'My son, my daughter, my son, my daughter ... ' People I love, admire, respect. It happens to all kinds of families all over. There's a lot of pressure on kids these days, there's access to things that my generation didn't have.
He goes to say that Stephanie is "healthy and whole" and they are getting through it.
Bon Jovi doesn't detail whether Stephanie has an addiction problem or perhaps was trying drugs for the first time -- but his point is spot on. This is a widespread problem that can affect any child. Children who try drugs aren't just from dysfunctional backgrounds or have careless parents who use drugs themselves. It strikes all socioeconomic levels.
I'm sure there are people who will think that Stephanie was probably introduced to drugs via her father's "rock star lifestyle." Those people would be naive or in denial. An extremely minuscule portion of the population has a rock star dad -- and yet our country's drug problem is an epidemic. Not to mention that Bon Jovi doesn't have a reputation as a hard partier and he's said to be an incredibly involved father to his four children with high school sweetheart Dorothea.
The point is that anyone's kid -- even yours -- can try drugs. I knew plenty of kids in college who took drugs regularly, and yet all of them, it seemed, came from wealthier and more intact family situations than I did. Believing that your kids are immune to the lure of drugs because you were a "good" mom or dad is absurd. That said, there's nothing more you can do than explain to kids the dangers of drugs. At the end of the day, they're going to make their own choices about them -- and sometimes those choices won't be the ones you would have chosen for them.
Do you worry about your kids and drugs?
Image via KatieCouric/YouTube