Over a decade ago, Frankie Jonas was known as the “Bonus Jonas,” aka Nick, Joe, and Kevin’s brother who was a little too young to make the band but old enough to join them on a few red carpets and in their Disney Channel sitcom Jonas. Last year, however, Frankie gained some notability on his own due to his cheeky presence on TikTok, where he’s amassed nearly two million followers. His posts contain jokes about being forgotten among his brothers, genuine calls for friends in the New York City area, and even a hilarious (and successful) request for fans to flood Nick’s comments with claims that Frankie is more famous. But the 20-year-old’s bond with his large fanbase runs deeper than jokes — in a video posted on March 22, Frankie revealed that he struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol that nearly led him to suicide.
The video was posted to Jonas’ second account, @FrankieJonasTherapist — a username he vows to change as soon the platform allows him due to the unfortunate and unintentional double reading of its spelling. A fan who asked him to share his experience overcoming substance abuse prompted Jonas to address the topic. “This is by no means the eloquent explanation I hope to one day give on a much more serious mode than this,” he prefaced the video shared with the account’s additional 1.6 million followers. “However, from a very young age, I struggled with drinking and drugging as an escape because I hated life, and I didn’t wanna be here.”
“I eventually, after many years of trying to kill myself accidentally, came to a point where I was gonna do it for real, and something intervened,” continued the Columbia University student, noting that his “life was saved” after receiving treatment for his addiction. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the fact that I’m alive today because my world has changed so beautifully and so astronomically, and I’m not that person anymore. I couldn’t be more grateful that I’m alive and happy today.”
Earlier in March, Frankie celebrated “a year and a half” without drugs or alcohol and posted a video in response to a fan who asked for tips on how to stop using. “The first step is acceptance, and if it’s really something you want, you know, right now AA and all those sorts of programs are all online, so you can kind of do whatever,” he advised the fan. “You just have to accept that you need help and that there’s other people who can help you. So, hopefully, that helps. All the love in the world.”
Speaking to Kelly Clarkson during a March 7 appearance on her talk show, Nick Jonas said he’s “very proud” of Frankie’s viral TikTok success. “I think it’s amazing. He’s always had a really unique sense of humor and a unique voice as a comedic person,” said the performer. “He’s just brilliant. And he’s, you know, he’s the star. We’re all just Frankie’s brother now.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. You can also reach out to the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, or to your local suicide crisis center. If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).