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Sheetz using lighting in effort to fight opioid epidemic

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — The lights in the bathroom of a Sheetz in Westmoreland County are part of the how the company is getting creative in looking for ways to fight the opioid epidemic.

Sheetz is testing the lights in its New Kensington location.

"It's a little jarring at first. So is change to anything. You go into a bathroom, you expect it to be well-lit," said Nathan Murray Sinicki, of New Kensington. "I heard some people think it was rather creepy or daunting going in there. I don't think that's the case. If it's helping the drug epidemic going on in New Kensington, I think that's good."

Sheetz -- with the support of the New Kensington Police Department -- installed blue recessed lighting as a way to fight the drug epidemic rattling the community.


"To me, it's an epidemic here," said James Thompson, of Leechburg. "The young generation, it's like a domino effect."

Sheetz confirmed to Channel 11 that the light is still in its testing phase, and this is the first store trying the blue-light experiment.

A spokesperson with Sheetz said, "We are working with New Kensington Police Department on this effort and these blue lights are used to deter drug use.  The safety and security of our employees and customers is one of our highest concerns and we work around the clock on that goal."

Officials in New Kensington told Channel 11 News the blue lights are a deterrent because they make it difficult for addicts to see their veins.

"I'm hoping this at least is going to open a doorway or give us some sort of formation into steps that can help lead to cause of rehabilitation," Sinicki said.

"I'm in favor of it if it's gonna work out. Then again, they could go somewhere else and do it," Thompson said.