Austin Eubanks: Columbine Survivor Found Dead at 37

LinkedIn Austin Eubanks

Austin Eubanks was a survivor of the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, Colorado. On May 18, 2019, twenty years after that deadly shooting, Eubanks was found dead in his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He was 37 years old. Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Cause of Death Has Not Been Released, but Eubanks’ Family Said He Had ‘Lost the Battle’ with the Disease He Fought to Help Others Face

What the Columbine Shooting taught me about pain and addiction | Austin Eubanks | TEDxMileHigh"Less than an hour after scrambling out the back door of the Columbine High School library, I was lying in a hospital bed, medicated on a variety of substances intended to relieve my pain," recalls survivor Austin Eubanks. That was the beginning of a decade-long addiction that led to a profound realization about the current…2017-07-26T19:57:00.000Z

Eubanks’ body was discovered at his home in Steamboat Springs. Authorities conducted a welfare check after being alerted that Eubanks was not answering his phone. An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Eubanks’ family issued a statement saying that Eubanks had “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.” The statement continued, “Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work.”


2. Eubanks Struggled with Opioid Addiction After the Columbine Shooting

Columbine victim advises Florida shooting survivors to deal with grief early onA victim of the Columbine high school massacre in Colorado is advising survivors of the Florida school shooting to deal with their grief and reach out for help early on. To read more: http://cbc.ca/1.4536610 »»» Subscribe to CBC News to watch more videos: http://bit.ly/1RreYWS Connect with CBC News Online: For breaking news, video, audio and…2018-02-15T18:55:05.000Z

Eubanks was shot twice – once in the hand, and once in the knee – during the deadly Columbine shooting on April 20, 1999. His best friend, Corey DePootere who died in the shooting. Eubanks watched his best friend die as the two of them huddled together under a table in the school’s library, trying to take refuge from the shooting.

After the attack, Eubanks was prescribed pain medication. He continued to take the medication, and within weeks, the 17 year old had become addicted to the opioids. He later said that he was “drawn” to the drugs because they gave him relief from his emotional pain.

“As a result of my injuries, I was pretty significantly medicated about 45 minutes after being shot. I remember immediately being drawn to that feeling, because it took the emotion away,” he said.


3. Eubanks Traveled the Country Speaking About the Opioid Crisis & Telling the Story of His Own Addiction

Interview With Columbine Survivor Austin EubanksProfessional speaker and Columbine shooting survivor Austin Eubanks stops by on the 19th anniversary of the tragedy to reflect on his experience and how it relates to the Parkland survivors movement. SUBSCRIBE TO DAILY BLAST LIVE: http://bit.ly/2tNb089 Catch us live Monday-Friday from 2:00pm-5:00pm EST and 7:30pm-8:00pm EST. Vote Live during this show! – http://bit.ly/DBLLiveVote Like…2018-04-20T23:00:01.000Z

Eubanks continued to struggle with opioid addiction into his twenties. Eventually, he found a path to recovery, and he decided to dedicate himself to helping others who were in the same position as him. Eubanks traveled across the US telling his story, and talking about the broader problem of addiction in the country.

His website says: “An injured survivor of the Columbine shooting, Austin’s traumatic experience as a teen was the catalyst to his painful journey through addiction. He has since devoted his career to helping those who have turned to substances as a result of trauma. Austin has spoken to millions across the nation regarding his personal journey as well as strategies for addressing the issues of substance abuse that are plaguing the nation.”

Eubanks also spent three years serving as the chief operating officer of the Foundry Steamboat, a rehab center and outpatient addiction treatment facility.


4. He Spoke at an Overdose Prevention Conference on May 2, Weeks Before His Death

Weeks before his death, Eubanks appeared as a speaker at the 2019 Overdose Prevention Conference in Bristol, Connecticut. An attendee at the conference tweeted that hearing him speak had been an “amazing experience” and that his story had been “captivating.”

Eubanks was found dead in his Colorado home on May 18. His family issued a statement saying that he had “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.”


5. He Was on the Board of Directors of an Alternative High School Program that Helped Teens Struggling with Addiction

Columbine survivor finds new purpose in lifeDenver7 reporter Nicole Brady tells us more about the life of Austin Eubanks after the massacre, and how he has found a new purpose in life following a drug addiction. ◂ The Denver Channel, 7News, brings you the latest trusted news and information for Denver, Colorado, Mile High and the Rocky Mountains. Our mission is…2016-04-21T01:26:56.000Z

Eubanks was on the board of directors of the 5280 High School, a Denver, Colorado school that provides an alternative, hands-on education for students in grades 9-12. The school includes a program called Summit House which aims to help teenagers who are struggling with addiction or related disorders. The school says:

“5280 houses a program for students in recovery from addiction, eating disorders, or other challenging situations best addressed within a community of like-minded peers. Through strong community partnerships and a vibrant, positive school culture, students in Summit House gain the understanding required for life-long recovery, and are equipped to thrive in college, career, and civic life.”