Convenience store using blue bathroom lights so drug users can't inject

08 December, 2017, 13:49 | Author: Regina Silva

At a minimum, the step Sheetz has taken shows the increasing prevalence of the opioid epidemic in public life and explains why the federal government has declared it a public health emergency.

Coded door locks and biohazard boxes are just a few of the ways store owners are making their bathrooms safer.

A gas station bathroom in New Kensington, Pa., is testing blue lights in an effort to fight the opioid epidemic.

"It's a little jarring at first".

Sheetz is working with the support of the New Kensington Police Department, installing blue recessed lighting to combat drug use in the community.

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The light system "is created to help our customers and employees avoid risky situations", said Nick Ruffner, Sheetz public relations manager. "It might be an initial distraction, but I really don't think it's going to deter them a whole lot".

The station reports that 179 people in the county have died drug-related deaths this year. They are also hoping the lights make the business safer for both employees and customers.

The blue tint is meant to make it more hard for heroin users trying to inject the drug in the store's restrooms to see their veins.

Gateway Rehab's medical director, Dr. Neil Capretto, said the lights could decrease drug use in the bathrooms. "I don't think it'll work". "Half would use a blue-lit washroom if they needed somewhere to inject urgently".

Company officials said the store location at 325 Freeport St.in Parnassus is the only Sheetz to test out the blue-light system, which has been in place for about three months now.

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