Sheetz installs new lighting to deter opioid use

Drug syringe and cooked heroin on spoon

That store, located at 325 Freeport St.in Parnassus, is now the only location with the lights installed.

One Sheetz store in Westmoreland County has installed a new lighting system in their restrooms in hopes of deterring drug users.

The blue lights, officials said, can make it hard for IV drug users to see their veins prior to injecting a needle.

Sheetz officials tell the Trib that the blue light makes it more hard for drug users to locate veins to inject drugs into their body.

A Sheetz spokesman said the company is working with local police on the initiative.

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This Sheetz location witnessed an increase in overdose deaths over the past nine years.

Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director at Gateway Rehab, told the website that most heroin addicts are very familiar with where their veins are. Still, he added that when desperate, most drug users can locate their veins through memory.

But he said if the unorthodox deterrent is found to work, he supports it. "I am not sure if it is going to have a significant impact, but it is probably worth a try".

It is the only Sheetz with the lighting system.

The experiment is being tested at a Sheetz gas station in New Kensington, a small city about 18 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

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