Columbine Survivor Whose Depression-Fueled Addiction to Drugs Led to a Career as Anti-Drug Crusader Dies from Addiction


In April, I wrote an article about the 20th Year Anniversary of the Columbine mass shooting. In it, I profiled Austin Eubanks — a survivor who watched his best friend, Corey, die as they hid beneath a table in the school library.


Austin himself was shot twice, in the hand and knee.

In the aftermath, medication led to an opiate addiction that kept Corey’s emotional desperation at bay:

“I was prescribed medications for my physical injuries and immediately, I became drawn to those medications because of how they improved the underlying symptoms of emotional pain.”

The drugs had a powerful grip, as noted by USA Today:

He struggled with addiction throughout his 20s and went through multiple treatment centers.

But he grew. He arose.

Austin became the chief operations officer for Foundry Treatment Center. He spoke to audiences around the country — even taking part in the Ted Talk series — about his experiences and the underlying emotional causes of drug dependence.

I closed my article with, “Whatever the root cause, a spiritual force found its way to Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. And thank God, in Austin’s case, evil could not claim him.”

Sadly, that can no longer be said. On Saturday, Austin was found dead at his Steamboat Springs, Colorado home.

According to a statement from his family, he “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face. Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work.”

So I’m amending my previous statement:

A spiritual force found its way to Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. And on May 18th, it claimed another victim.


I’ll leave you with a quote from Austin, which is just as true today as it was two days ago:

“[Y]ou never know when your story is going to change the life of somebody else.”

Hopefully, Austin’s story will continue to change lives.



Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Doris Day Leaves Us At Age 97, But She Leaves Us With Something Wonderful

WATCH: Sports Illustrated ‘Shatters Perceptions’ & Teaches You What’s Attractive With Its New ‘Obese’ Swimsuit Model

United Methodist Church Holds Drag Show To Protest Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Find all my RedState work here.

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