Brandie Wilson is founder and executive director of the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR). The nonprofit seeks to improve Humboldt County’s overall rating on the Healthy Communities Index, which includes overdose deaths, mental illness, suicide, and homelessness rates.
Through HACHR, Wilson works to provide critical services and programs. She started the successful Syringe Exchange Program, which serves hundreds of consumers each week, ensuring the life-saving drug Naloxone is distributed throughout Northern California with training on how to administer the drug and reverse an overdose, and created an Overdose Awareness Day of education and action.
Wilson was the first to notice a disturbing local trend: methamphetamine laced with the dangerous narcotic fentanyl. Wilson quickly began educating those who use drugs on the danger, saving even more lives. She also created a system to test drugs for the presence of fentanyl, which is fueling an opioid crisis in California and across the country.