Survivor talks about addiction after Columbine High School shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Saturday marks 20 years since two gunman opened fire at Columbine High School in Colorado.

On Thursday night, a survivor shared his story about his path to addiction after that shooting. Austin Eubanks spoke at the annual Fairbanks Circle of Hope dinner downtown.

Eubanks, who was injured in the shooting, said the trauma acted as a catalyst to his addiction. He now works to educate communities about treatment and behavioral health.

He said getting clean is not fast-tracked and, to heal, addicts have to feel it.

“It requires that you sit in that pain and go through the stages of grief in order to come out on the other side in a healthy fashion. Too often, we turn to those fast roads to relief and then we stay stuck in our own grief for longer than necessary.” 

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Thursday’s event also supported people in recovery who are uninsured or  under-insured. The event was designed raised awareness about drug and alcohol addiction.

In the shooting on April 20, 1999, 12th-grade students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher. 

RELATED: School safety: 20 years after Columbine shooting