Retailers experiment with blue lights to deter drug use

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Some retailers are installing blue lights in their bathrooms to discourage people from injecting themselves with drugs by making it more difficult to see their veins.

Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Pennsylvania is using the lights in as many as 20 of its stores in hard-hit neighborhoods. The chain is taking part in a research project into the lights' effectiveness. A company official says the lights have dramatically reduced opioid use in the bathrooms.

In this June 22, 2018 photo, a sign outside a public bathroom hangs at this Turkey Hill convenience store in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

Earlier studies have questioned the lights' deterrent effect. Many public health experts oppose the practice. They say the blue lights make people more likely to hurt themselves.

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