BEXLEY, Ohio — Eli Weinstock, 20, was attending American University when he collapsed and died in March of last year
“He was full of energy, he was funny. During his memorial everyone talked about how he could make anyone laugh,” said his mother Dr. Beth Weinstock
Dr. Weinstock said her son took an herbal supplement Kratom. She learned later it was laced with fentanyl.
“I had seen 10 days before he died on a family trip to Florida and there was no indication that he had any problems that he was struggling with addiction or any other way,” she said.
To prevent another family from losing a child to an accidental overdose, she came up with a plan to distribute drug testing strips that she says can detect fentanyl.
Doing so, she says, allows kids to know before they take a pill, snort cocaine, or smoke if it’s laced with the deadly drug fentanyl.
Dr. Weinstock explained how it works.
“The blue is the end you hold and then this gets dipped into the liquid,” she said while holding up the tiny paper test strip.
The test is simple. Just take a sample of the drug, drop a small amount in water and put the test strip. It takes about 60 seconds to get results.
“One line for fentanyl and two lines for no fentanyl,” she said.
She wants to get these strips into as many hands as she can.
“We want to get a test strip into the hands of every high school and college kid in America,” Weinstock said.
Weinstock didn't invent the strips. They are sold through a Canadian company, but she wants to distribute them for free to any high school or college campus to not only teach them how to use the strips but also teach them about the dangers of experimenting with drugs.
“Everyone should know that counterfeit pills are what is killing our young people. We want to create this idea that there should always be a pause before you try something,” Weinstock said.
She said if the test strips can save one life it was worth it.
“I want parents to know how common this is. It takes one bad pill that shows up in the mail or a friend hands it to you, who knows where they get it?” she said.
You can learn more about the test trips here or follow BirdieLight on Twitter to learn how the Weinstocks are working to save more lives from accidental overdoses.