Gas Stations have become a typical place for someone who wants to shoot drugs intravenously into their veins. Since the process of slamming drugs is an intricate process that can take some time, someone that is homeless or does not have a home of their own will most likely try getting their fix in the most private place that they can find – a public bathroom with a door. The bathrooms of a gas station are a prime spot for drug use because some of them are located outside in a separate area from the checkout counter and can give some much-needed privacy.
A drug user may find it easier to do “their business” behind closed doors of a gas station bathroom. Mostly these bathrooms are unlocked, do not need a purchase for use, and keep drug use out of sight of the police. Since gas stations are realizing that their bathrooms are getting a bad rap for being dirty from used syringes on the floor and from persons overdosing instead of just the average toilet paper on the floor or toilet malfunction, they are taking a stand to keep people that are injecting drugs from being doing so on their property. They feel as though they are losing money from people wanting to buy gas and other profitable items in their store by going somewhere that does not have the same reputation of drug use.
Several gas station owners in New Kensington, Pennsylvania have gotten pretty slick with how they are now dealing with the people that are using their bathrooms for IV addiction rather than relieving their bowels. In place of just using the normal light bulbs that most average gas stations use in their bathrooms, owners are replacing them with the blue lights that glow in the dark. This solution stems from drugs users not being able to see their veins with this type of lighting making it almost impossible for them to inject to a vein in plain sight.
This county in Pennsylvania has been hit pretty hard with overdoses in the last few years. By last November, Westmoreland County saw 179 overdoses which is why gas stations are choosing to go the route of changing their lighting. The truth of the matter is that if someone who abuses intravenous drugs wants to shoot up, nothing is going to stop them although some will be deterred by the lighting. Whether this works could be a true testament to what happens in other bathrooms around the country while owners observe.
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