Michelle's Activism

Photo Caption: Michelle Leopold carries a board with a photograph of her son, Trevor, on it as her husband Jeff Leopold sets up a table for an Overdose Awareness event at the couple’s store, Marin Ace Hardware, in San Rafael on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Trevor Leopold died of a fentanyl overdose in 2019. 

Marin overdoses become leading cause of death for 55 and younger  

... For the past four summers, they have hosted classes at their hardware stores across the Bay Area, including Marin Ace Hardware in San Rafael. The event coincides with International Overdose Awareness Day, which is recognized annually on Aug. 31.

“We hope that during this 2023 fentanyl and overdose awareness period, we might help other mothers and fathers avoid the loss and pain that Michelle and I now know, around the accidental death by fentanyl poisoning, of our beloved first-born,” Jeff Leopold said.

Michelle Leopold said this year she will be visiting neighboring businesses encouraging managers to send their employees to learn about Narcan.


Calendar Listing - ODFree Narcan Tabling  

...  Trevor Leopold died from an opioid overdose at 18, just months after graduating from Tamalpais High. His story is hardly unique. The opioid crisis has only intensified with the widespread adoption of fentanyl. ODFree Marin, in partnership with Marin Ace Hardware and The Spahr Center, are hosting a Narcan training to draw attention to International Overdose Awareness Day.  


August 2023 - Sonoma County Focus Radio Show on the Fentanyl Crisis Host Michelle Marques talks with Sonoma County District Attorney Carla Rodriguez, and two families affected by fentanyl death, about the alarming rise of fentanyl and other drug overdoses in Sonoma County. Learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones, additional resources at onepillsonoma.org


3/22/23 - Michelle spoke to parents and loved ones at a Zoom meeting for Muir Wood, where Trevor had attended.

California Kills Series of Bills Increasing Sentencing for Fentanyl Dealers - The Epoch Times

Michelle Leopold speaks at a rally in front of City Hall in San Francisco on Aug. 21, 2022, while holding a photo of her son Trevor ...

Michelle and other members of Drug Induced Homicide - CA have been fighting for SB44 "Alexandra's Law" - this article highlights SB44 and other fentanyl related bills killed in Sacramento


Wednesday March 8, Michelle spoke to health classes at Oakland's School for the Arts.

Comments from the students:  

LH:  "Tell Michelle I say thank so much for her  presentation. I have felt pressured to do drug and even had thought about purchasing on line. Hearing about Trevor and learning his story has taught me a lot about just about how precious a life is. You might have saved my life. You are an incredible person for your strength and education. Thank you and if you feel up for it please come back for future kids and share Trevor’s story! Thanks you once again!"

NB: "Ms.Michelle Leopold demonstrated how little that amount is by showing us a photo of a lethal amount of fentanyl compared to a penny and I want to thank her for being willing to share with us so we can know the dangers."

LP: "Thank you for sharing with us. I didn't think about weed being so bad, but I don't like that they're just trying to make money off of us to make it think its not so bad. Just like we learned for vapes."

JB: I will NEVER take drugs from the internet. I didn't think they were allowed to advertise things that could kill you, but now I know.

Monday March 6, 6pm Ballroom A: Michelle spoke at Sonoma State University to kick off their Opioid prevention campaign

Link to presentation:


Wednesday March 1 - Michelle spoke to students at Tam High School in Trevor's former classroom...  the attached poem was one one of the student's responses to the talk.

February 7, 2023: North Bay Business  He did not intend to die: Marin confronts its growing fentanyl crisis


January 31, 2023: Pacific Sun/North Bay Bohemian The Kill Pill: fentanyl deaths on the rise in Marin and Sonoma counties    pacificsun.com/fentanyl-deaths-on-the-rise/

January 28, 2023: Michelle was asked to share Trevor's story at Marin County's innovative and ground-breaking restorative justice program, Youth Transforming Justice. 

January 27, 2023 SF Standard: Narcan in Schools

The education aspect—sooner rather than later—is more important than just the supply of Narcan, said Leopold. 

“It’s one thing to have a nurse and three other people on campus know where Narcan is and how to administer it,” Leopold said. “It’s a lot more effective to have all 1,200 students know fentanyl is in the drug supply and that Narcan can reverse fentanyl poisoning.” 


December 22, 2022 CBS News Bay Area/KPIX 5: Narcan bill AD24

 ...Michelle Leopold, who lost her son to an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2019, says the proposal is a necessary step forward in fighting the ongoing opioid epidemic.

"People need to know that this is here. It's not going away. We need to do anything we can to prevent more deaths," Leopold said. "This is unlike anything our country has ever experienced." 

On her own time, she teaches people how to administer Naloxone. She owns several Ace Hardware stores and has Narcan in her first aid kit. She thinks of having Narcan on hand the same way she thinks of having a fire extinguisher on hand..." 


November 20, 2022 Marin Independent Journal:  ...“If you were younger than 60, you had a 10 times greater chance of dying from a drug overdose in 2021 than from COVID-19,” Willis said...

One such fake pill can kill within a few minutes unless the person receives a dose of Narcan or nalaxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.

“Don’t think it can’t happen to you,” said Marin activist Michelle Leopold, whose son Trevor died in 2019 at age 18 from a fentanyl overdose. “You need to assume it can happen to you.”


Talk - Boy Scout Troop 59  (11/15/22)

This was especially poignant for me because Trevor and his little brother Parker were both Scouts in this troop - and met in the same Larkspur Masonic Lodge in which I spoke.

November 15, 2022  "Lived Experience Story" Testimonial 

ODFree Marin Launch/Overdose Prevention Summit in Marin County  

Get involved: https://odfreemarin.org/action-teams/ 

Learn more: https://odfreemarin.org/ 

Education: Fentanyl Family Summit  (11/15/22)

Grateful to the Northern California Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for hosting the first every Family Summit of the Overdose Epidemic in Dublin. Had to leave early to get to San Rafael for the Marin Summit!

November 12, 2022 Los Angeles Times:  More teenagers dying from fentanyl. 'It has a hold on me, and I don't know why' 

Fentanyl deaths among teens more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, increasing from 253 to 680. Last year, the number jumped to 884... 

Among the most outspoken are parents whose children died from the drug.

In November 2019, Marin County resident Michelle Leopold’s 18-year-old son, Trevor, died. The freshman at Sonoma State ingested what he believed was Oxycodone one night before bed, and a friend who was sleeping over in his dorm room awoke the next morning to find his body. 


11/6/22 Talk - National League of Young Men - Marin Chapter Class of 2025 

September 1, 2022: Marin Independent Journal: "Greenbrae resident Trevor Leopold died of an overdose in 2019 in his dorm room during his freshman year at Sonoma State University. He was 18.

Leopold, who had been struggling with drug addiction, took what he thought was oxycodone, a prescription pain medication. Instead it was a counterfeit pill laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 100 times more potent than morphine.

After Michelle and Jeff Leopold lost their son, the Marin couple turned their grief into activism. The owners of Marin Ace Hardware in San Rafael have been hosting classes at their hardware stores across the Bay Area on how to administer Narcan, or naloxone, a substance that can keep an overdose victim alive.

In partnership with the Spahr Center, a Corte Madera nonprofit, customers of the San Rafael store were invited to participate in a session Wednesday. The event coincided with International Overdose Awareness Day, which is recognized annually on Aug. 31. This is the third year they’ve hosted overdose awareness events..."


August 24, 2022: CBS News San Francisco / KPIX5 -- "As state and city leaders grapple with how to save hundreds of lives to drug overdoses in the Bay Area, two East Bay moms are doing something about it.  Michelle Leopold and April Rovero both lost their sons to an overdose.  And both mothers are working to do something about the pain they feel at such a loss.  On a quiet morning in Oakley, customers of the Ace Hardware that Leopold owns got a class in using Narcan, a substance that pulls overdose victims back from the brink of death."


September 30, 2022: Annenberg Radio News -- National Recovery Month with a mom who lost her son to Fentanyl - Michelle Leopold now leads seminars on how to prevent Fentanyl overdoses

https://www.uscannenbergmedia.com/2022/09/30/national-recovery-month-with-a-mom-who-lost-her-son-to-fentanyl/  USC Journalist Claire Fogarty is a former classmate of Trevor's brother Parker

August 10th, 2022: Brentwood Press: Oakley, Pittsburg and Antioch Ace Hardware store events raise awareness of the danger of drug overdoses - "The three Ace locations will offer free Narcan – a medication that reverses overdoses from opioids, including fentanyl - and provide education around overdose awareness and the current national epidemic of fentanyl poisonings."


August 21st, 2022: After the rally for National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day at San Francisco City Hall, Michelle trained her employees and community on life-saving Naloxone, and distributed Narcan at her San Francisco store, Standard 5&10 Ace in San Francisco's Laurel Village. 

KPIX5 reported on the Narcan distribution during their segment: https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/parents-fentanyl-victims-rally-san-francisco/

August 21st, 2022:  As part of Mothers Against Drug Deaths, Michelle joined the Fentanyl Awareness Day rally Sunday on the first National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day at San Francisco City Hall, where the Mothers were joined by community leaders and other advocates calling for tougher policies to reduce overdose deaths. Leopold was one of the speakers at Sunday's rally.

Article: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Mothers-rally-to-stop-the-fentanyl-deaths-of-17388342.php

Speech linked on Twitter/Thank you Jenny G Shao

SB1097 (Pan/McCarty) - Marijuana Warning Labels - is in committee - and we hope makes it to the Assembly vote in the near future. Here is a video of California parents who desperately demand a warning label - because #ItsNotJustPot 


June 4, 2022: Parker and Michelle were asked to share Trevor's story at Marin County's innovative and ground-breaking restorative justice program, Youth Transforming Justice. 

May 13, 2022 - PAIN Don't Hide the Scars Podcast 

News Medical Life Sciences - May 23, 2022: Important article talking about the nationwide movement of parents-turned-activists fighting the increasingly deadly drug crisis (several of which I know well or/and in which I'm actively involved) — all challenging California's doctrine that drugs should be treated as a health problem rather than prosecuted by the criminal justice system...

Story appeared via other links in the LA Times and California HealthLine 

"Sometimes, fentanyl poisoning can also cause death; Mothers Against Drug Deaths co-founder Michelle Leopold’s son died of a fentanyl-laced pill. "

May 12, 2022 - Health Focus with Dr. Scott Anderson - Post: Focus on Fentanyl.  (Link to video to come)

May 13, 2022 - Sacramento CA Capitol Protest - and new Ad Campaign (Mothers Against Drug Deaths)

Editorial: Fixing drug education: The first step to saving lives

Redwood Bark Editors demand more fentanyl and other drug training. This article resulted in additional information for TUHSD.

Talk - National League of Young Men - Marin Chapter Class of 2024 (2/12/22)

The Bark - Redwood High School November, 2021: One pill can kill:’ Addiction, loss and fentanyl - The epidemic unknowingly threatening Marin's most vulnerable teens

“We were walking out the door when Trevor’s best friend knocked and said, ‘Gosh Michelle, I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘What?’ He showed me his phone. It was a picture from Snapchat,” Michelle Leopold, whose son overdosed from fentanyl, said. “Trevor’s dead.”... 

The Pitch - Archie Williams High School November, 2021: Every Parent's Worst Nightmare" - fentanyl epidemic overtakes teens

"Trevor Leopold was a freshman at Redwood High School when he first smoked marijuana and began experimenting with illicit drugs. Moving from school to school, in and out of the Tamalpais Unified High School District [TUHSD], he eventually graduated from Tamalpais High School in 2019, and was admitted to Sonoma State. He was found dead in his dorm shortly thereafter on November 17, 2019, after buying and consuming counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl at the age of 18..."

Thank you Henry Pratt for writing this award-winning investigative journalism piece for the AWHS Pitch school newspaper, which set so much activity into action in Marin county, (and in your own life!)

Michelle's APALD Rally Speech for Fentanyl Awareness

Mentioning the Paradigm Shift around fentanyl poisoning.

To take action, go to TAKE ACTION - Join the community 


#SmokescreenBook Launch Team



Harm Reduction Activist - Marin County

10/20 - Present


2020 Marin Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2020

KTVU News - Overdose Awareness Day


Nar-Anon Hope After Loss

4/25/20 - present

Shatterproof 2020 Stronger than Addiction Challenge

Interview - Common Ground Magazine



Redwood Bark Article - Drugs, Death & Discussion