Economy

Sheetz Installs Blue Lighting System In Hopes Of Deterring Drug Use

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.

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

"It's a little jarring at first".

The blue lights make it more hard for people to see their veins.

No, there's nothing wrong with the lights in the bathrooms at the New Kensington Sheetz.

A small-town convenience store in Altoona, Pennsylvania, tested out special blue-tinted lights in its bathrooms to discourage drug use, the company said.

Nick Ruffner said the lighting is created to help customers and employees "avoid risky situations".

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

"I think it's safe to say that we, along with different operations such as ours, (have) definitely seen the impact of the heroin epidemic over the past several years", Sheetz spokesman Nick Ruffner said.

Tim Phillips, executive director of Westmoreland County's Drug Overdose Task Force said what Sheetz is doing is "commendable", but he doesn't think the blue light system is going to stop people from using drugs.

James Thompson, a local resident agrees, kind of, "I'm in favor of it if it's gonna work out". "Half would use a blue-lit washroom if they needed somewhere to inject urgently".

"This system is being tested at just this store for the time being, and it is too early to see the full results at this time or to discuss any plans to expand this test", he noted.



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