Jon Bon Jovi has been a rock star for three decades, but never fell victim to the twin pitfalls of drugs and alcohol that typically accompany early fame and fortune.
“I never did a thing [drug-wise],” Bon Jovi told the Mirror May 20. “I was never attracted to it.”
Jon’s personal aversion to drugs made his daughter’s recent heroin overdose all the more shocking and alarming. In November 2012, Bon Jovi’s daughter, Stephanie Bongiovi, overdosed on heroin at her Hamilton College dorm room in upstate New York.
Stephanie, then 19, and her friend, Ian S. Grant, were later arrested for drug possession after police found heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her dorm room. The drug charges were eventually dropped and Stephanie is doing well now.
“It was horrible, a horrible moment,” Bon Jovi recalled of receiving the 2 a.m. phone call from his hospitalized daughter. “It was my worst moment as a father. The first thing she said was, ‘I’m all right.’ But then she said this is what happened.”
Jon, 51, said today’s youth are more vulnerable to the lure of drugs and alcohol because the world is a crazier, less structured, place than when he was a kid.
“There’s a lot of pressure on this generation,” said Bon Jovi. “They have a lot easier access to things than your or my generation had. There’s many more pressures on kids. ‘What is this college degree going to do for me? What am I going to be when I grow up? Will I be able to accomplish things?’
“[My daughter] was by no means sticking needles in her arms. But there’s a lot of synthetic stuff in the world and a lot of temptation and access that just a generation ago you and I didn’t know about. Our world is far more relatable to our parents’ world than our kids’ world.”
Bon Jovi is currently on tour in Europe with his band, and is grateful that his daughter is well. “I feel it was a terrible, tragic lesson of life, but I thank God every day because she is whole,” he said. “It happened and it has gone. I know personally people whose sons and daughters where it was a lot, lot worse. That could have been Stephanie.”
This year marks Bon Jovi’s 30th anniversary as a rock band. While the youthful-looking Jon isn’t sure he wants to be on tour 20 years from now the way the Rolling Stones are (which is on its 50th anniversary tour), he’s still having a great time.
“I don’t know if I will hold up for another 20 years but I take crazy care of myself,” said Bon Jovi, who does yoga, lifts weights and works out on the treadmill and elliptical trainer. “I don’t think my bones could keep doing it.”