We have turned Bluelight to black today, February 12, as a means of recognizing the passing of Ryan Haight, AKA "Quicksilver" of our Bluelight community. In 2001, Bluelight lost a dear a friend. Few of our current members will remember Ryan. He was an extraordinary young man by all counts. An honors student with an intellectual curiosity about the world and, perhaps most memorably, Ryan was a wonderful person and friend. Ryan was found dead the morning of February 12th from an overdose of prescription pain medication.
Quicksilver's death was not the first loss this community has suffered, nor was it our last. Back in 2001, the phrase "Opiate Epidemic" had not yet entered the lexicon of mainstream America. Indeed, in the same year the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization responsible for accrediting hospitals, began promoting the now infamous 0-10 pain scale. In 2001 the Joint Commission and Purdue (The makers of Oxycontin) also collaborated on a guide for doctors and patients that claimed, "There is no evidence that addiction is a significant issue when persons are given opioids for pain control."
Fast forward to 2016 and 64,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose -- a 20% increase from the year previous and more than all US military casualties in the Vietnam and Iraq wars combined. In 2018, it was reported that 165,000 people in the US had died from opioid overdoses with many millions more suffering the effects of opioid abuse. These numbers continue to grow each year.
Bluelight is committed to reducing the harm associated with opiates and all other substances by educating the individual. To this end, we provide a venue for open and honest discussion and provide resources for those in recovery or seeking help. We have established February 12th as "Black Bluelight Day," a time to remember all those we have lost and reaffirm our core mission of harm reduction.
On behalf of our staff and our worldwide community, we ask that you take a moment to reflect on what drug-related harm reduction means and how we can together further the health, safety and well being of those who visit our forums. I know I speak for our leadership when I say that we welcome your feedback and the opportunity to listen to the opinions and suggestions of our community.
We also welcome you to visit the Bluelight Shrine, where you may pay your respects to those we've lost. In a community like Bluelight, we are more likely to lose members than most communities given the nature of our mission. While we seek to educate in an effort to save lives, there will inevitably be times when personal decisions go wrong. We memorialize those we've lost both to keep them alive in our memories, but also as a reminder to all that we aren't invincible. We are all fallible, and mistakes may cost you the ultimate price. Know as much as you can before you make decisions or take risks, and know that we will be here to help you.
In memoriam of Quicksilver and other lost family members,
The Bluelight Staff