Eubanks in 2010
Stephen Austin Eubanks
October 7, 1981
|Died||c. May 18, 2019 (aged 37)|
|Cause of death||Heroin overdose|
|Known for||Injured survivor of the Columbine High School massacre|
Stephen Austin Eubanks (October 7, 1981 – c. May 18, 2019) was an American motivational speaker on addiction and recovery. He was a survivor of the Columbine High School massacre, in which his best friend, 17-year-old Corey DePooter, was killed and Eubanks was shot in his hand and knee. Eubanks struggled with opioid addiction after the shooting. Eubanks was the chief operations officer for the Foundry Treatment Center.
Eubanks was born on October 7, 1981. When he was 11, his father, an engineer, moved the family from a small town in Oklahoma to Denver. After struggling to fit in at a larger school, Eubanks' parents allowed him to attend Columbine High School out of district. He met his friend Corey DePooter at the end of their freshman year. At age 17, Eubanks was in the library at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered. Klebold shot him in his hand and knee. Eubanks' best friend, Corey DePooter, was killed in the massacre. DePooter was under the same table as Eubanks at the time and Eubanks witnessed his death. Harris and Klebold soon after left the library and, fearing that they would return, Eubanks and other survivors fled through the library's emergency exit. Harris and Klebold would go on to kill 12 students and one teacher, injure 24 others and then take their own lives. Eubanks did not return to Columbine High School after the shooting and was instead privately tutored at home three days a week until he graduated in 2000. Within weeks of the shooting, Eubanks developed an opioid addiction that continued into his twenties. In 2006, Eubanks recognized that he had developed tolerance for prescription medications of oxycodone (OxyContin), Adderall, and alprazolam (Xanax). He then began using cocaine, ecstasy, and alcohol. Starting in 2006, Eubanks entered residential treatment centers three times without success.
Eubanks accomplished longer-term sobriety at the age of 29 after experiencing rock bottom on April 2, 2011, when he woke up in jail without any memory of what took place. Eubanks became a motivational public speaker. From 2015 to 2019, he was the chief operations officer for the Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat Springs. He was a member of nonprofit boards and was the operations director of NorthStar Transitions in Boulder. Eubanks was the executive director of Quiet River Transitional Recovery Community in Denver. On May 2, 2019, Eubanks spoke at the 2019 Connecticut Opioid and Prescription Drug Prevention Conference.
Eubanks married at the age of 25 but divorced four years later. He had two sons from his marriage. Eubanks was engaged to Alex Dooley. On April 2, 2016, Eubanks celebrated five years of sobriety. His body was found during a welfare check on May 18, 2019, at his residence in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He was 37. His family confirmed that he died of an overdose. It was later confirmed the overdose was heroin.
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