Columbine survivor, 37, found dead after getting hooked on opioids used to treat injuries suffered in massacre 20 years ago

A COLUMBINE shooting survivor has been found dead at his home twenty years after he was shot twice and watched his best friend gunned down in class.

The tragic news comes just a month after Austin Eubanks told how he turned to opioids and alcohol as a way to numb the pain in the wake of the atrocity.

The 37-year-old also spoke of his painful recovery and how he later became an advocate for fighting addiction.

However, his family said in a statement that he “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face.”

They added: "We thank the recovery community for its support. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time."

Eubanks was found dead during a welfare check at his home in Steamboat Springs when he failed to answer his phone.

There was no sign of foul play, and an autopsy will be performed Monday, officials said.

For more than a decade after the attack, the father of two was addicted to prescription pain medication. He finally got sober in 2011 and began repairing his family life.

Eubanks was just a 17 when the deadly attack was carried out at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999.

"I had a routine where I'd meet up with my best friend Corey DePooter in the library and we'd discuss what we were going to do after school," Eubanks told in April.

I was laying there playing dead. I'd been hit twice but I knew Corey was gone

"As we sat down, that's when the shooting started. A teacher burst in and shouted at us to hide under tables but I remember most people just stood up."

Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold eventually murdered 12 students and one teacher, all of which were killed by gunfire.

Ten students were killed in the library, where the pair subsequently committed suicide.

At the time, it was the deadliest shooting at a school in United States history, not surpassed until 2012 by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 28 people died.

Eubanks survived after being shot in the hand and knee, but his friend DePooter died instantly after being hit in the neck, chest and arm.

"I was laying there playing dead. I'd been hit twice but I knew Corey was gone – he was the last person killed in the shooting that day.

"Obviously, after that, my life took a pretty big detour," Eubanks said.

"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 of the pain medication.

Within a matter of weeks he revealed he had developed an opioid addiction.

Then, after multiple attempts at residential treatment, he found long-term recovery and decided to devote his time to speaking out about addiction recovery.

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