If You See A Toilet Paper Roll In A Public Bathroom That Looks Like This, Don’t Touch It! Here’s The Alarming Reason Why-

public bathroom

Using a public bathroom has always required an extra level of caution and vigilance. But a new trend taking over restrooms across the country represents a shocking new low – and an unprecedented public health hazard.

When entering a stall, you may notice the toilet paper roll has been placed in a backwards position. At first glance, it seems like a harmless prank. However, there is an unsettling purpose behind this manipulated roll. Junkies and others who use intravenous drugs have begun using the loose end of backwards toilet paper to wipe residue off their used needles after injecting drugs.

This trend started on the West Coast, where heroin and meth addiction rates have skyrocketed in recent years. But it has now spread to public bathrooms nationwide as users share the technique on social media and underground forums.

While wiping a needle may remove visible blood or particles, it does not properly sterilize it. Numerous viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and herpes can still be present and easily transmitted through microscopic droplets or fluids left on the needle.

According to John McKenzie, president of the National Harm Reduction Coalition, “When you see a backwards roll, alarms should go off. That paper is likely contaminated with microscopic amounts of bodily fluids containing any number of viral or bacterial infections. Touching it puts you at risk of contracting a host of life-altering or even fatal illnesses if you have an open cut or wound.”

Public health experts say reversing rolls has become popular among intravenous drug users for efficiency and secrecy. Lauren Mitchell, an epidemiologist who has studied this disturbing trend, explains, “Users can quickly wipe down a needle in a matter of seconds using the loose end of the reversed roll. With easy access to more paper, they don’t have to rip off small pieces or unravel more than needed.”

Addicts also often choose bathroom stalls over sinks to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Sinks in public restrooms are more visible, whereas stalls provide privacy and anonymity. 37-year-old Simon Wright, a recovering heroin addict, admitted, “I never would have risked wiping my needles at the bathroom sink. I always used the stall, where I could take my time and not feel rushed if anyone else came into the restroom.”

Bathroom attendants, custodians, and maintenance workers have been some of the first to notice the trend. Jose Flores, who maintains restrooms in a California concert venue, said, “A while back, rolls started disappearing overnight at a suspicious rate. We’d refill them in the evening, and the next morning they’d be partially or completely gone again. Then I realized – people were taking them into stalls to privately wipe their needles.”

Janitorial staff are at highest risk, as they are likely to reach in to fix a backwards roll or unclog toilets where needles were improperly discarded. Tragically, some staff have already contracted hepatitis C, HIV, and other illnesses this way. Many businesses are now putting up warning signs in restrooms or removing toilet paper rolls altogether to protect employees.

Law enforcement has also taken notice, but say their hands are tied unless they catch someone in the act. “We have encountered backwards rolls with suspicious residue while patrolling public spaces,” said Officer Daniel Rush of the Seattle Police Department. “But unless we physically observe someone using a roll to clean needles, it’s very hard to prosecute.”

Health officials have tried alerting the public by posting flyers in high-risk areas, but awareness remains low. “Intravenous drug users have devised a dangerously clever tactic that most people would never suspect,” said Dr. Emily Sanford, an infectious disease specialist in Los Angeles. “We can only hope more members of the public become informed before this causes a full-blown viral outbreak or epidemic.”

State and federal agencies are exploring potential solutions, but say backwards rolls present a unique challenge. “This is different than finding loose needles which can be safely disposed of in sharps containers,” explained Karen Davis of the DEA. “With toilet paper rolls, there are no clear markers to indicate danger. We need more research to determine how to easily identify contaminated sections.”

Bloody Toilet Paper In Public Restroom?
Experts strongly advise:

  • Never touch or attempt to unroll it. Doing so risks directly contacting contaminated sections.
  • Use another stall if one is available. The entire roll may be compromised, not just the outer layers.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, even if you don’t make contact. Viruses may still be present on surfaces like doorknobs.
  • Notify staff, custodians or security if possible. They may remove the roll and sanitize the area.
  • Carry disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer when in public spaces as an extra precaution.
  • If no other stalls are open, use toilet seat covers, paper towels or your sleeve to flush and open doors. Avoid bare skin contact.
  • Parents should check rolls and instruct children not to touch anything suspicious. Monitor them closely in public restrooms.
  • Report illegal drug use to authorities if witnessed so addicts can get help. Getting intravenous users into treatment is key to preventing these situations.

The sad truth is that as recreational drug use proliferates, backwards toilet paper rolls will likely become more widespread too. But public awareness and vigilance can reduce the risks substantially. Be alert and exercise extreme caution in public restrooms.

Think twice before touching anything that looks disturbed or tampered with, and warn others who may not be aware of the dangers. We all have a role to play in making public spaces safe again in the face of this disturbing trend. Lives could literally depend on it.


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