In case you missed it, Tuesday was National Fentanyl Awareness Day. And the Alameda County Sheriff's Office used the occasion to tout a recent fentanyl bust.

The sheriff's office announced Tuesday that deputies had arrested four individuals and seized a whopping 15 pounds of fentanyl, which found inside a car in the McClymonds High School parking lot in Oakland. Deputies also seized one kilogram of heroin, and $139,000 in cash.

The suspects have not been named and investigators have not revealed what led them to the parking lot to make the bust.

"It should be noted this incident is not connected to the school," the sheriff's office writes in the announcement. "Drug trafficking within 1000 feet of a school is an additional crime. We will seek additional charges."

This bust follows a much larger bust by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office late last month, in which they seized 92 pounds of fentanyl at a location in Hayward.

Illegally produced fentanyl is driving an overdose crisis nationwide, with opioid overdose deaths among teenagers triple what they were just two years ago. And the CDC says that "fentanyl is involved in more deaths of Americans under 50 than any other cause of death, including heart disease, cancer, and all other accidents."

While fentanyl can be used safely in hospital settings, it is highly potent — said to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine — and the potency of illegally produced street fentanyl is highly variable and therefore poses a major overdose risk.

Thanks to public health interventions — namely the widespread availability of Narcan — overdose deaths declined slightly in San Francisco in 2021 for the first time in years. But overdose deaths from synthetic opioids are on the rise nearly everywhere else in the U.S.

Photo: Scott Rodgerson