Parkdale McDonald’s installs blue lights in effort to curb bathroom drug use

Critics say move highlights need for more safe injection sites

The franchise owner of the McDonald’s located in Parkdale at King and Dufferin streets has installed blue lights in the fast food restaurant’s bathroom in an effort to cut down on drug use, CityNews has confirmed.

“As a local business owner, I want to ensure the very best experience for my guests,” owner Albert Crimi said in a statement. “Two months ago we decided to install blue lighting in the men’s bathroom at my King and Dufferin location. Since the installation, we have seen a significant decline in the number of EMS calls at this restaurant.”

The blue lights make it difficult for people to locate a vein for intravenous drug use. Critics of Crimi’s move say that it highlights the need for more safe injection sites around Toronto.

“You find when we open an overdose prevention site, people don’t have to use in the washrooms because there is a safe place to use under a nurse’s supervision and also a safe place to stay alive and hopefully access treatment as well,” said Councillor Joe Cressy.

“Overall, it’s a half response and I would say not the right response,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

According to recent Toronto Public Health data, 68 people have died of opioid overdoses so far in 2019.

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