Gov. Mike DeWine signed a number of criminal justice changes into law Jan. 3, including the decriminalization of fentanyl test strips in a move that advocates say will be a powerful tool in preventing overdoses.
For Bexley resident Beth Weinstock, who lost her son, Eli, to a fentanyl overdose in 2021, decriminalizing the test strips represents a significant change. Weinstock, her daughter, Olivia, and other family members started a nonprofit, BirdieLight, in her son’s memory to prevent fentanyl-related deaths. Weinstock and other members of BirdieLight have been arguing for the decriminalization of the test strips while also educating parents and students about the dangers of fentanyl.