Richie Sambora pulled from his own experiences with drugs and told a New Jersey crowd of 5,000 that there’s “hope in the battle against addiction.” Sambora, the front man from the band Bon Jovi, spoke at the four-hour-long forum targeting awareness of the drug crisis in New Jersey, according to USA Today on May 28.
Richie’s message was universal, there’s nothing good to come out of using drugs, as he knows all too well in his own personal life. His addiction caused missed gigs on a tour and a DUI. It is not just law enforcement ramifications that you have to worry about when doing drugs. Death is a very predominate outcome when abusing these powerful drugs.
Richie is helping raise awareness of heroin and prescription pain killer abuse that has become somewhat of a deadly epidemic nationwide today. His new song about drug addiction was originally titled “Needles on the Shore,” but he changed it to “Lighthouse.” He is hopefully going to raise money to fund a rehab for he plans to build in New Jersey, according to MSN News.
Parents at this forum spoke on how drug use and addiction in their family has changed their lives forever when a child goes down from drugs. One woman spoke about her smart and athletic son who choked on his own vomit after doing drugs, while he lived, his life was changed forever.
When Maureen Morello of West Milford, New Jersey took to the podium to speak about her son Jesse, you could feel the sadness in her voice. After choking on his own vomit from ingesting drugs, Jesse suffered with brain damage as the oxygen supply to his brain was cut off during the ordeal.
The once strong and very normal teen is now only capable of the verbal and the physical abilities of a toddler. Morello told the crowd that “Jesse’s life has been changed forever by his decision to do heroin.”
One man who has already made a difference in this war against these drugs is Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, who has orchestrated these forums in the battle against drugs in his county. Sambora spoke at the third forum in this series.
Shortly after Coronato first stepped into his position as the county prosecutor, there were eight deaths from drug overdoses within seven days. This sparked Coronato into action. One of the major changes that’s been implicated since he came into office was getting Narcan, the opiate antidote, into the hands of police officers, who are usually first on the scene to a drug overdose.
Coronato said that Narcan has been successfully used 33 times in the past six weeks. Getting that antidote into the overdose victim as soon as possible is crucial. Now that police can administer this antidote, it is projected that overdose deaths will wane in number.
From Jan. 1 to May 23 of 2013, 51 people died of a drug overdose in the county. During the same time period for 2014, the number of deaths from drug overdoses has been almost cut in half with 28 deaths reported. Both Coronato and Sambora are in this to save lives.
Sambora performed his new song about addiction and he is donated the proceeds from this tune to help fund a rehab he hopes to build in the area. Richie grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey, so he is helping in a place that he calls home. The song is called “Lighthouse.”
Coronato sounds like a man who cares and who isn’t about just pushing papers around that say so. He is actually hard at work making battling against drug addiction and he has made his fight against drug overdoses a top priority.
The Federal Government could use someone as genuine as this prosecutor on their team. While Coronato is working for his county in New Jersey, it would be great to have someone with this caliber of work ethic and dedication doing this for the entire country, as the drug epidemic is nationwide.