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Columbine Survivor Advocates Against Prescription Drug Abuse, Overprescribing

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Columbine Survivor Advocates Against Prescription Drug Abuse, Overprescribing


Austin Eubanks shares his painful journey with addiction that began after the Columbine tragedy, joins newly-launched The Foundry Treatment Center as Program Director

April 6, 2016 (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Nearly 17 years ago, Austin Eubanks saw his best friend and classmates killed during the Columbine shooting. Little did he know, this trauma was the beginning of a 12-year journey through addiction; fueled by the over- prescription of medication he began receiving at just 17 years old.

The physical wounds Austin endured that day paled in comparison to the emotional scars and survivor’s guilt that permeated his life, and doctors generously prescribed him painkillers and other prescription medication to cope. Austin, who had never drank or done drugs before taking prescribed medication, felt validated by seeing his name on the prescription bottle. But as time passed, he knew he had a problem when he needed Adderall, Oxycontin and Xanax to get through the day. After a painful journey through addiction that included stints in four rehabilitation programs, Austin has been in recovery for several years.

To successfully recover, Austin knew he had to create a healthy professional and personal life rich with accountability and promise. After an award-winning career working in advertising and marketing management, he transferred his skills to the addiction treatment and behavioral health industries. Now the program director at The Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat Springs, Austin has dedicated his professional life to helping others achieve recovery and speaking out against over-prescribing prescription medication.

“I was so young and in so much emotional pain, and I trusted doctors to help me,” states Austin. “If I had been given another option, or prescribed the appropriate amounts of medication, it is possible I could have avoided addiction. I don’t want others to experience what I did.”



The Prescription Drug Abuse Problem


Deaths from overdoses of prescription drugs and heroin continue to be the leading cause of unintentional death for Americans, rising 14 percent from 2013 to 2014. Every 19 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose and emergency rooms treat over 1,000 people a day misusing prescription opioids. In a recent speech, President Obama stated that there are more people dying from opioid abuse than traffic accidents.

In a doctor survey by the American Medical Association, nine in 10 doctors stated prescription drug abuse is a moderate to large problem in their communities, while 85 percent believe that prescription drugs are overused in clinical practice.

At least half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid, with opioid overdose deaths quadrupling since 1999. The CDC and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimate more than 15 million people in the US abuse prescription drugs, and these numbers climb to 52 million when including individuals over the age of 12 that have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime.



Effective Treatment Solutions


Detoxing from drugs and abstaining from use is the first of many steps towards recovery. NIDA reports that the relapse rate for drug addiction is 40 to 60 percent. These numbers decrease significantly after a 90-day inpatient program and ongoing outpatient treatment.

Success against addiction requires behavioral changes that can modify both the personal and professional life, and it is not without a community of support that individuals achieve recovery.

The Foundry Treatment Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient programs to treat participants on each step of their journey. Through complete addiction treatment that integrates the mind, body and spirit, The Foundry helps participants regain a happy and productive life.

With an unparalleled wellness program and nearly double the therapy time of a standard inpatient treatment program, The Foundry aims to treat the whole patient and create a foundation of behavioral changes to achieve success. The inpatient clinical program includes trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. A multi-faceted wellness program increases self-esteem and personal discovery through daily empowering activities centered around nutrition education, fitness, service work and career planning.

“The Foundry has one of the most comprehensive and impressive programs I have seen in the years that I have worked or been treated in the industry,” says Austin. “Complete addiction treatment isn’t just a catch phrase, the holistic approach at The Foundry truly shows participants how to change and create a new life.”



The Foundry is a substance abuse treatment center focused on providing complete addiction treatment to help participants regain a happy and productive life. Guided by a team of 22 professionals, The Foundry aims to provide lasting recovery through an integrative body, mind and spirit treatment program. The Foundry offers a 90-day 12-bed residential inpatient program with clinical, wellness and family components that include nearly double the therapy time of a standard inpatient program and an extensive wellness program providing nutrition education, fitness activities, service work and career planning. A robust outpatient program includes medical detox, intensive outpatient, step-down outpatient and open group treatment services. To learn more call (844) 955-1066 or visit www.thefoundrytreatmentcenter.com

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