Jonathan Wagner

Jonathan Wagner

A CNN program airing at 9 p.m. Sunday will highlight the dangers of benzodiazepine drugs by telling the story of a Region man who died by suicide in 2017 as he struggled with withdrawal from the prescription medication.

The new episode of "This Is Life with Lisa Ling" focuses on Jonathan Wagner, who was prescribed the benzodiazepine Klonopin by his doctor to address sleeping troubles following a shift change at his job in a Northwest Indiana casino.

According to his family, Wagner had been taking the drug for seven months when he decided he no longer wanted to use it, but Wagner's withdrawal symptoms led his doctor to prescribe other benzodiazepine drugs, of which a known side effect is suicidal thoughts.

Wagner's family has since established You're Not Alone, the Jonathan Wagner Benzodiazepine Awareness Foundation, to help other individuals and their families cope with the effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Besides Klonopin, benzodiazepine drugs are sold under the brand names Xanax, Ativan and Valium.


Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.