COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Dr. Beth Weinstock heard the news that two Ohio State students had died after an apparent overdose, her heart sank.
"I can't even describe to you how sad I am that another family has to through the pain that my family has experienced and countless other families across the country it's just devastating," she said.
Dr. Weinstock lost her 20-year-old son Eli in March 2021 after the American University student took the herbal supplement kratom that she later learned was laced with fentanyl.
"Nearly every substance can be adulterated with deadly substances such as fentanyl. It's not isolated to opioids. It can be Adderall, a fake Adderall, fake oxycodone, fake Xanax and I just want every young person and parent to be aware of it," she said.
That awareness started with the creation of Birdielight.
Weinstock and her team travel to high schools and college campuses and give out free fentanyl test strips, so students can test the drugs beforehand.
She says college campuses aren't doing enough to educate students on the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs.
"Every college in this country should have an orientation for incoming freshmen to speak on the dangers of fentanyl. It's more dangerous at this point than alcohol use," she said.
As for the parents of the students who lost their children in the reported overdoses, Dr. Weinstock says she understands their pain.
"I'm suffering with them. That's all I can say," she said.
If you have information about the OSU case, you are urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.