Opioid epidemic pushes Starbucks to install needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms

Starbucks will install needle-disposal boxes in some high-traffic locations after numerous employees reported finding blood and discarded needles in store bathrooms, reports USA Today.

The move comes after 3,750 employees signed a petition calling for the company to install the boxes at certain high-risk bathrooms.

A Starbucks spokesperson told USA Today the company decided to install the needle-disposal boxes to help protect workers from health risks like HIV and hepatitis.

The workplace safety risk represents a side effect of the ongoing drug epidemic, which killed 72,000 Americans in 2017.

"These societal issues affect us all and can sometimes place our partners (employees) in scary situations," the Starbucks spokesperson told USA Today. "Which is why we have protocols and resources in place to ensure our partners are out of harm's way."

More articles on opioids: 
6 ways UC San Diego Health is fighting the opioid epidemic
Massachusetts hospitals get compliance guidelines for offering meds to opioid addicts
Opioid epidemic costs hospitals about $11 billion annually

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