As opioid abuse has risen to epidemic proportions, the Sheetz retail and foodservice chain is testing ways of discouraging heroin use within its stores.
The chain’s unit in New Kensington, Pa., has replaced the conventional lights in its restrooms with ones that cast a blue hue. The blue light is expected to discourage heroin users from shooting up by making superficial veins—the ones just below the surface of the skin, where the drug is injected—harder to spot.
Local news source Fox WJAC reports that police in Altoona, Pa., about a two-hour drive from New Kensington, said they see overdoses in public restrooms once or twice each month on average.
“The light system in the restrooms at this New Kensington, Pa., store is designed to help our customers and employees avoid dangerous situations,” a Sheetz spokesman said in a statement to CSP Daily News, a sister operation to Restaurant Business. "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 discuss any plans to expand this test."
Altoona-based Sheetz is recognized as being as much of a restaurant concept as it is a c-store chain. The brand was an innovator in adopting self-service kiosks where patrons can customize sandwich and burger orders.
Sheetz extends to more than 500 locations in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia..
This story originally appeared on CSPDailyNews.com.