ECAD is Europe's leading organization promoting a drug free Europe and representing millions of European citizens. Drug dealing and drug abuse cause enormous problems in Europe. Nations and their citizens are affected by the consequences of drug abuse. ECAD member cities work to develop initiatives and efforts against drug abuse supporting the United Nations Conventions which oppose legalization and promote policies to eradicate drug abuse worldwide. Has your city joined ECAD?


ECAD in cooperation with KSAN and Belarussian NGO Mothers Against Drugs starts a new prevention project for women in Belarus.
The project aims at developing early and effective prevention measures for girls and women. We also focus on assisting our partners with knowledge and scientifically proven research to help women in crisis situations. Minsk is a signatory member of ECAD since 2010.

In order to plan activities for 2014, KSAN and ECAD visited our partners in Minsk at the end of March and have now 3 prevention trainings planned for the coming 4 months, with a focus on young girls, pregnant women, social workers/coordinators at schools and youth leaders.
While in Minsk, our group joined a national TV talk-show on the dangers of Spice that took lives of 9 teenagers in just a couple of months. Belarussian society is staggered by the news and the police, addiction specialists, rectors, parents and students demonstrate a variety of reactions regarding this cheap deadly alternative to cannabis. Young students who died were barely 14 years old, came from socially positive environment and were absolutely sure that a non-listed substance, a "fake" drug, could harm their healthy bodies.
According to Eurobarometer from 2011, new psychoactive substances had been tried at least once by circa 5% of young people in the EU. In Ireland this number is 16%, while in Poland, Latvia and Great Britain it is almost 10%.
The sheer demand for support to parents and teachers revealed lots of gaps in prevention methodology and a strong will of Mothers Against Drugs to capitalize on the best practices available to ECAD and KSAN.

Read more: ECAD and KSAN launch a new project in Belarus 
 We plan ahead for an exciting work together!

(Left to right: Britt Fredenman, Leena Harakè, Åke Setrèus, Iryna Lukyanovich and Janina Romanova)

Cities For Youth  
Reykjavik, March 19-20, 2014

Read more: Cities for Youth - ECAD for Icelandic model

Substance use amongst Icelandic adolescents is lowest in Europe and Reykjavík City shared this success story on the 19-20th of March at a two-days international conference "Cities for Youth". Many ECAD cities and their policy makers, researchers and prevention practitioners demonstrated how evidence based substance use prevention method actually works in changing adolescent attitudes towards alcohol, smoking and drugs.

 ECAD had since 2006, with the introduction of the drug prevention programme "Youth in Europe", promoted the Icelandic model over 20 ECAD member cities across several European countries.

 Could your city benefit from this work? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Youth in Europe in Bucharest: a success

the substance use sarbu
 Bucharest joined Youth in Europe project in the beginning of the first phase and have demonstrated genuine committment to implement the Icelandic methodology.  As a result of this project cooperation, a pilot study was presented in Reykjavik this March by Adrian Sarbu, sharing the findings from Bucharest.

"The substance use and social factors in Bucharest 2012-2013" is a research based on on data from "Youth in Europe" Drug Prevention Programme in the Capital of Romania showing to all of us a successful story available now to every city.

 The report focuses on the findings for Bucharest: comparison of the main variables for other cities partaking in the study, showing results on levels of tobacco-, alcohol- and substance use and hence reporting on key social beneficial factors, such as parental, peer and organized recreational influences.

 Rich of tables and figures, the book introduces a Preface by Professor and MP Ben-Oni Ardelean.

E.A. Sarbu, O. I. Bunaciu, D. Maris (Editors), The substance use and social factors in Bucharest 2012-2013, Risoprint Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca, 2014, pp. 104.

Drug Policy Futures

Some weeks ago, ECAD joined a new progressive drug policy platform, Drug Policy Futures. It focuses on a drug policy based on evidence, shared responsibility, public health and public safety.
We choose not to be a part of false dichotomy of a "war on drugs" or "legalisation". Drug Policy Futures supports policy based on reputable science and principles of public health and safety, which reject both legalization and incarceration.

Alternatives? Yes!
Legalisation? No!
New Drug Policy Futures platform calls for an end to a polarised drug debate at the United Nations

As the United Nation’s host the 2014 Commission of Narcotic Drugs this week in Vienna, a new drug policy platform, Drug Policy Futures, was formally launched. The public-health oriented platform, which was conceived by civil society delegates who attended last year’s United Nation’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs, aims to challenge the opinion that drug policy is a simple choice between a “war on drugs” or a legal market of substances which are harmful to health. Rather, organisations such as Actis from Norway, one of the founders of Drug Policy Futures claim that drug policy today should better prevent initiation of drug use, respect human rights, strike a balance between supply and demand as well as ensuring that controlled drugs are available for legitimate scientific and medical purposes. Amongst these things, the platform also advocates for the flexibility that countries have already under the existing UN Drug Control Conventions, flexibility which is not always being used to its’ full extent.

The launch of the new Drug Policy Futures platform comes at a time with dignitaries from all across the world are meeting at the United Nations in Vienna to attend a High Level Review of the world’s drug problem. Notable guests and participants include Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, the Chairperson of the 57 th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN in Vienna, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, and many other dignitaries.On top of that, around 1,500 high-ranking individuals from Member States, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, and the media will be present. The Review is a major milestone in preparations for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem in 2016.

Yesterday saw the Informal Civil Society Hearing take place ahead of the scheduled UN High Level Review meeting, during which many civil society delegates agreed that countries are not doing everything they could do under the current legal framework.

Frans Koopmans, whose organisation De Hoop Foundation, The Netherlands is one of the first signatories of Drug Policy Futures said “Drug Policy Futures isn’t about advocating for the status quo in countries where there are clear abuses of human rights, but neither is it about advocating for reforms which have no evidence behind them, or for actions which may be harmful to health. Basically, all countries should be required to implement effective drug demand reduction programmes, based on what is known today about what works”.

Stig-Erik Sorheim, Actis, Norway and Co-ordinator of Drug Policy Futures noted “Two years from now, the United Nations will carry out a review of global drug control and we must ensure the debate is informed by evidence from the public health and justice fields. It’s important that we don’t just hear from groups who seek to regulate drugs, who have not spelled out in any great detail what the public health consequences of such moves would be. At a time when drug use is fairly stable across Europe, we must make sure that NGO’s and civil society are mobilised to advocate for evidence-based strategies which promote public health, safety and the wellbeing of families, communities and society but which also ensure individuals with drug problems are provided with the best possible healthcare”.

Although it has only been launched formally this week, already over 35 NGO’s from across the globe have already officially signed up to the policy principles. Organisations interested in joining Drug Policy Futures to advocate for evidence-based strategies to promote public health can log onto, where they can also sign up to the platform if they agree with the basic policy principles.

 This week is a CND week and the 57th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was embarked on by the UN drug policy bodies and member states` representatives  in Vienna.Read more: A society free from narcotic drug abuse

Last week ECAD as a member of Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, organized 2 events at the launch of the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
The VNGOC had its IIIrd informal Civil Society Hearing. The Hearing was held on 12 March in conjunction with UNODC and WHO. It was co-chaired by H.E. Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Chair of the 57th Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Michel Perron, Chair of the VNGOC, and was addressed by Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC.

The main focus of this event is to provide UN bodies, governments and UNGASS 2016 with a nuanced advice of the NGO community, ensuring that UN do not get a false dichotomy as a result of the CND, but receives coherent policy advice in an evidence-based discussion.
Read a basic summary of the IIIrd Informal Civil Society Hearing here (PDF)

Second significant event was a High-Level Briefing (picture) on the conclusions of the IIIrd ICSH and the 2014 UNODC Scientific Consultation addressing drug use through a Health based aproach on March 13.
The Briefing was opened by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, with honourary participance by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Mr. Raymond Yans, President of the INCB, Mrs. Nora Volkow, Director General for NIDA, USA, as well as many state officials and ambassadors. Also policy advice contributions were made by many members of the VNGOC. ECAD was represented by Mr. Yevgeny Bryun, a leading specialist in addiction treatment of the Moscow City Government and the head of NGO Russian Narcological League, ECAD National Representative in Russia (far right in the picture).

Many experts and officials commended NGOs for their relentless and often unthankfull work in the field.

A clear political statement of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden set the scene of the High-Level Briefing:

"Drug policy should be based on zero-tolerance, focusing on prevention, treatment, control and recovery... " 

"We must support and defend UN Conventions on drugs. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child."
"We cannot let narcotic drugs be a part of our lives." ... "Civil Society plays a vital role in preventing drug abuse.
My vision is a society free from narcotic drugs".

ECAD shares this vision and we are proud that our member cities in 31 European countries would agree with the statement of Her Majesty Queen Silvia.

Please return to this page during the week, we will update you on the launch of new platforms and documents pertaining to international drug policies and ECAD work.


logo Varna
The City of Varna, an active ECAD member in Bulgaria, holds an international conference on 4-6 June, 2014.
The topic is "Cannabis and new drugs. Challenges and responses". 

This conference is an ECAD activity.

Conference language is English and the timing is perfect to hold ECAD network meetings just before the summer season in Bulgarian Golden Sands.
Please follow our updates under "Conferences" in the meny to the left, the preliminary programme is already published.

Book your participance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Welcome to our major event in support of the UN Conventions on Drugs! 

Read more: Mayors` Conference 2014: Hotels and Booking Form,

(Picture: Stockholms stad)

In three months, ECAD and World Federation Against Drugs, WFAD, will host two important conferences in the same premises of the Munich Brewery in the southern part of Stockholm. Conference venue is specifically chosen to accomodate a vast number of delegates and it is important to book your hotel a good time ahead.

Start with booking your conference participance:

Download the Booking Form (Word doc), fill it in and send it per e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or fax  +46 508 29 466 back to us.

ECAD will be also updating a small selection of hotels for your convenience:


  • Quality Hotel Globe is a modern conference and event hotel situated next to Globen in Stockholm. Ideally located besides the events complex Globen, the hotel ensures an exciting and memorable stay in Stockholm.

Book your room here (link)
Price single room 1195 SEK per room per night including breakfast buffé and VAT, double room 1395 SEK per room per night including breakfast buffé and VAT
Picture: DELFI.LV

After one death last Thursday and one almost lethal experiment with Spice among 17-year-old students this weekend in Riga, Latvia, hundreds of people protested in the streets against "legal highs".
Latvia is one of the most affected EU countries, as many as 10%  of young people in Latvia, Poland and the UK have used new psychoactive substances,  with topping 16% in Ireland, according to 2011 Eurobarometer survey.

Young people who miss their friends and classmates, their parents and simply concerned civilians blocked all Spice-trading points in Riga in a protest action on Monday night. Civilians organised themselves as an NGO "Stop Drugs" a while ago and now cooperate with many athletic clubs in the city.

Protests in Riga are caused by abundant small shops in the city and its outskirts, trading with Asian tees or advertising shoe repair and sewing clothes, but in fact selling mixed psychoactive substances, often called "Spice". Whoever passes these small sheds can observe their trading licences for demonstration in the windows. Still, young people would tell that the shops are trading with some "extra stuff", the majority of those who live or study in the nearabouts are well aware of what is being sold. Yet, the police lacks instruments to close the shops as the owners have a legal trade certificate.

Latvian police works hard to find arguments for shutting down the shops with still valid trade certificates and Latvian Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr. Rihard Kozlovsky is apprehensive about the state of a new black market establishing right on the spot. "It could be even more difficult for the police to cope with the situation when the "salesmen" loose their licence and "go underground"", he said.

EU Commission as late as in September 2013 proposed to strengthen EU`s ability to respond to "legal highs", by taking the poisonous substances away from the market as soon as possible.

ECAD takes Riga`s concerns seriously and encourages other member cities to respond to this situation together by initiating a project under the EU auspices in 2014.

A new Italian city joined ECAD at the end of January, the City of Aprilia (Read more in Italian here)

The City of Aprilia adheres to developing prevention initiatives and fostering contacts between local governments and the EU, the UN and other international organizations in order to intensify efforts reducing the spread of drugs, which is the basis of ECAD work.

Aprilia City supports the aims of Stockholm Resolution to protect the health and welfare of individual citizens and families, preventing dependencies arising from drug use.

Welcome to ECAD, Aprilia!

Read more: City of Aprilia, Italy, joined ECAD

Read more: First announcement - ECAD Mayors`Conference 2014

Stockholm is hosting two parallel conferences on May 19-20, 2014
. ECAD joins forces with World Federation Against Drugs and their 4th World Forum to add weight to the anti-legalization message of political wills and to spread the competence of grass-roots NGOs.

" Do we want a drug-free world or a world of free drugs?" - asked former UNODC Director Antonio Maria Costa once.

The answer is written in ECAD Constitution and we stand for a drug-free world.

This is a unique opportunity for you to network, meet your counterparts from other countries and to support the UN Conventions on drugs.

European Cities Against Drugs and World Federation Against Drugs organize the conferences at the Munich Brewery, on the South bank of Riddarfjärden, with a joint opening on May 19, 2014.

These two conferences will have 2 separate registration desks and the participants will be given two different sorts of badges. However, the guests will have an opportunity to share the most interesting presentations and will get a balanced picture of the best speakers from both conferences.

On May 19, after the presentations of the keynote speakers and a common lunch, conference delegates will be separated for two different conferences and sessions of ECAD and WFAD. In the interim, the conference delegates will be asked to stick to their respective venues, according to the registration made.

On May 20, the conferences will be held separately for ECAD and WFAD participants until lunch, after that the conference delegates will join together again.

The City of Stockholm invites all conference delegates to a reception at 18.00 on Monday, May 19, hosted in the City Hall. H. Sten Nordin, the Mayor of Stockholm, will open the evening with a short welcome speech. The reception will be held in a buffet-style with sit-down opportunities.

Download First Announcement here (PDF)

We will publish Conference Booking Form in a few days here, please return to this page later.

It has become a custom in ECAD member city of Kristiansand, Norway, to annually arrange a seminar on cannabis use in the beginning of the year.
So this year accordingly, Kristiansand invites you to join policy makers, doctors and youth coordinators for a one-day seminar on February 19, 2014. Discussions on how to work with the youth, new cannabis alternatives on the market and on outsiders of the society will follow.

Download the programme here (PDF)

Webpage in Norwegian:

And some more detailed information in Norwegian:

I tilknytning til seminaret ”Ut av tåka 2014” inviterer vi dere som arbeider med hasjavvenning i landet til:
Tirsdag 19. februar kl. 11-16 på Samsen kulturhus
Pris: kr. 350 inkl. lunsj
Kl. 18.00 – sosial sammenkomst med middag på Håndverkeren restaurant & pub. Deltakere må betale mat og drikke selv (inngår ikke i prisen for erfaringsdagen).

Hvis du ønsker å holde innlegg denne dagen, ta kontakt med:
Madelene Skårdal, tlf: 90 60 29 64
E-post: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.