Gas station owner installs blue lighting in restroom to combat drug use

Gas station owner installs blue lighting in restroom to combat drug use

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.

The chain "Sheetz" is testing out blue lighting in the bathrooms of a store New Kensington, Pennsylvania, which is about an hour northeast of Pittsburgh.

The Sheetz gas station in New Kensington installed the lights this week.

Customers said while it might stop addicts from using Sheetz' bathrooms to inject, it would do little to stop the drugs epidemic sweeping America. He says it's being tested at that store "for the time being".

In western Pennsylvania, Westmoreland County has been among the hardest hit in recent years, recording 174 total drug overdose deaths in 2016 and 144 confirmed deaths as of the start of this month in 2017. This year the county set a record with 144 confirmed overdose deaths as of December 1, with 35 suspected overdoses awaiting toxicology verification.

A qualitative study published in 2013 in the Harm Reduction Journal also concluded that blue lights are unlikely to deter drug use in public bathrooms and may increase drug-related harms. Still, he added that when desperate, most drug users can locate their veins through memory.

"(They) could probably find a vein with their eyes closed if they had to", he said. "I don't think it'll work". "I am not sure if it is going to have a significant impact, but it is probably worth a try".

'They'll do drugs everyplace, ' Jan Mills Snr, an elderly customer, told WJAC.

"If it's helping the drug epidemic going on in New Kensington, I think that's good", Sinicki said.

"I heard some people think it was rather creepy or daunting going in there".

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