Retailers turning to blue lights to avoid drug use in bathrooms

As thousands die from intravenous drug overdoses in Washington, KIRO 7 has discovered some Seattle retailers are turning to blue lights to discourage people from shooting up in their bathrooms.

It is believed the blue lights make it harder for intravenous drug users to see their veins.

"This is the first I've heard of this" said, Brad Finegood with Public Health Seattle King County.

Heroin and methamphetamine overdoses have become a public health crisis. Meth overdose deaths have quadrupled in King County. KIRO 7 looked at Seattle overdoses over a 2 1/2 year period and discovered the vast majority occurred in public places, including Seattle City Hall, the Central Library and inside the restrooms of the Nordstrom flagship store.

Retailers are looking for ways to keep addicts from using their restrooms for illicit drugs.

"Places are fed up and frustrated and that's understandable," said Dr. Caleb Banta-Green of the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.

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