Research Portal

Welcome to the Bluelight Research Portal!

We enjoy partnering with researchers to generate new insights into drug use. We help by connecting researchers with participant groups, providing access to large datasets of public drug-related discussion, and sense-checking findings and products with our communities.

How can we help?

  • Are you involved in drug-related research?
  • Do you need to increase/augment your survey or study enrollment?
  • Are you a researcher looking to access a large, diverse population of individuals who use drugs such as ecstasy/MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines, psychedelics, opioids, or novel and emerging substances? Bluelight can help you access these often hard-to-reach populations.

Bluelight is an international message board that educates the public about responsible drug use by promoting free discussion. We advocate harm reduction and attempt to eliminate misinformation. Bluelight is funded by fees-for-service and donations, and maintained by a team of volunteers. We are the world’s busiest dedicated multi-drugs forum, have been online since 1999, and currently have over 100,000 visits within any 30 day period. In addition, our Discord channel now has over 7000 members.

You can get a snapshot of the demographic and drug use characteristics of the Bluelight community from our Census: Bluelight User Census.

How have we helped in the past?

Bluelight works with all kinds of research, from student projects through to large academic grants, from online surveys through to clinical trials, across a large range of drug types and practices, and across multiple world regions.

We have helped hundreds of researchers access participants. Our discussions of drug use and harms are also increasingly cited in the scientific literature published on novel and emerging drugs. That is, the data we generate through our public discussions is also utilized for research purposes.

What can we do for you?

  • A leadership team familiar with research methodology and protocols
  • A resident Ph.D. with expertise in drug related research: Dr Monica Barratt
  • Promotion of your research project, targeted at your population of interest through our regional forums and our focus forums (where specific drug types are discussions), and via our social media channels
  • Staff who can promote your research through discussions within the community
  • We can curate an online space where you can engage in direct dialogue with your target group, for example, to pilot your study methodology, to engage in collaborative data analysis, and to publish and receive feedback on your findings
  • A proven track record of driving participant enrollment to exceed research goals

Best Practice Examples

Recent best practice examples of research work where Bluelight has actively worked with research teams to refine surveys then recruit participants through promotion to our community include:

Recent best practice examples of research work where we have actively worked with research teams to provide Bluelight content and aided interpretation include:


Please read more and get in touch with our research email. Furthermore, we suggest that you read the following three articles, one concerning Bluelight’s research standards, and the others our mission statement and commitment to our members regarding their privacy, anonymity and safety:

  1. Bluelight’s Research Standards
  2. Bluelight’s Mission Statement
  3. Bluelight’s Pledge to Our Community

If you would like to advertise a study with Bluelight, you are welcome to post a thread to our Drug Studies forum after reviewing our guidelines. If you would like to advertise using our various site-wide banners, please post your thread then contact our research team with a request to promote it more widely.

If you would like to use Bluelight content as data in your research project, we respectfully wish to remind you that unauthorized reproduction or use of content from Bluelight is explicitly prohibited by our User Agreement. Projects of this nature can be conducted with our permission and in partnership with us. We welcome new ideas about research that uses our data and we encourage you to contact our research team to discuss your ideas further.

We wish you the best of luck in your research endeavors and hope that Bluelight can play a part in your success!

Truly Community Led

Unlike other med-based forums, Bluelight is entirely member led, ensuring that focus never strays from the altruistic foundation that is about nurturing open and supportive communities amongst members from right across the globe.