27th Mayors Conference - Gothenburg and online 2022
The 27th Mayors' Conference and 8th World Forum took place in Gothenburg and online 13-14th June 2022.
The World Forum and Mayor’s Conference is a meeting place for people from all continents who are working to prevent drug abuse, ensure evidence-based and gender-sensitive practices, increase access to treatment, and to promote recovery and reintegration services. This global forum is one of its kind where NGOs, self-help groups, treatment centres, scholars, local, regional, and national authorities, politicians and other decision-makers, and others from around the world will meet to share evidence and best practice experiences. This year’s World Forum will include three main tracks: Prevention, Treatment/Recovery, and Advocacy, which will stretch over 1,5 days followed by the WFAD Congress and ECAD Mayors plenary session.
We are proud to announce that the Forum was inaugurated by UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and will be joined by experts from around the world.
Read more on the website: https://2022.wfad.se/ and access the report here.
26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019
25th MAYORS´ CONFERENCE
and 6th World Forum Against Drugs
Kevin Sabet, PhD, Director, Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida, President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), USA
Speech at the WFAD /ECAD 25th Mayors Conference, Gothenburg, May 15, 2018 (Video 5min.)
Supply reduction in Peril? A lot of the worlds`s drug supply emanates from a war-torn Columbia.
Dr. Michael Jonsson, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency
Text to the slides (PDF)
In Columbia, a peace deal has been struck, which gives hope for a closure of insurgency and violence. (PDF)
Thomas Pietschmann, Dr, Drug Research Section, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs
The International drug control system, global/regional and national drug patterns and trends, and supply reduction efforts at the international level (PDF)
Photo: Götaplatsen @ Klas Eriksson
Annual Mayors` Conference and the 6th World Forum Against Drugs will take off on May 14-15 in Gothenburg this year.
This joint event will address a growing interest to the effective prevention practices, full recovery and alternatives to incarceration and to life-long dependency on drug treatment.
The conference will create a room for elaborating a practical guide to how a recovery city will look like, this will be grounded on the recent evidence-based research. Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium) and the City of Gothenburg have already started working on this guide in practice.
In order to find out more and to register please visit a joint webpage here.
MAYORS` CONFERENCE 2017
ECAD 24th Mayors` Conference materials
On June 12-13, the city of Kaunas hosted ECAD 24th Annual Mayors`s Conference 2017
Safe Cities Without Drugs. Preventing, Protecting, Policing
David W. Spencer, Field intelligence Manager, Drug Enforcement Agency, European Region
Supply reduction and dismantling drug trafficking organizations: In what ways can local communities benefit (PDF)
Kim Nilvall, Swedish National Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence section, Organized crime
Police work in socially disadvantaged areas in Sweden: Impact of drugs on urban crime (PDF)
Torsten Stodiek, Deputy Head, Strategic Police Matters Unit, Community Policing Advisor, Transnational Threats Department, OSCE
Preventing terrorism and countering violent extremism and radicalisation that lead to terrorism:
A community and intelligence led policing approach (PDF)
Jon Sigfusson, Director for Icelandic Centre of Social Research and Analysis, Reykjavik University, ICSRA
Youth in Europe and Planet Youth (PDF)
Laimonas Vasiliauskas, Senior Specialist, Serious and Organized Crime Department, EUROPOL
European Illicit Drug Market (PDF)
Antonio Boscini, Health Director, San Patrignano Community, Rimini, Italy
Recovery and social reinsertion: San Patrignano Community model extended (PDF)
CONFERENCE PROGRAMME (PDF)
FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT (PDF)
Conference Booking Form
Picture: @Rokas Tenys
Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!
- Category: The ECAD Mayors' Conference
Following is a rough summary compiled by ECAD of the main points from some of the presentations. For in depth information about the presentations or the publications featured download the slides or contact the speakers directly.
The conference participants were welcomed by the Chairman of Rogeland County Council Solveig Ege Tegnesdal and the vice mayor of Stavanger Bjørg Tysdal Moe.
Building healthy and safe cities through prevention and treatment
The first Key note speaker was Mr. Raymond Yans, Member of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and its former chair between the years 2012-2014. In his speech Building healthy and safe cities through prevention and treatment, Mr. Yans emphasized the role of demand reduction and prevention as cost efficient and effective efforts to counteract the economic and social consequences of drug abuse and save government costs later on.
He urged all ECADs member cities to continue sharing knowledge and best practices of the effectiveness of prevention measures in various contexts and to undertake prevention strategies that are comprehensive, sustainable and based on the common grounds reflected in the drug control conventions.
The full speech by Mr Raymond Yans can be read here.
International Standards of Drug Use Prevention
Following Mr Yans speech, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Programme Officer Wadih Maalouf, PhD gave us a comprehensive overview of the International Standards of Drug Use Prevention that the UNODC has developed. The primary objective of prevention is to help people (particularly-not exclusively-young people) avoid or delay initiation of use, or, if they started already, to avoid to develop disorders (e.g. dependence). The general aim is much broader. It is the healthy and safe development of children and youth to realize their talents and potential, becoming contributing members of their community and society.
Each stage of development, from infancy to early adulthood, is associated with a certain expected range of:
- intellectual ability
- language development
- cognitive, emotional and psychological functioning
- social competency skills
Each needs attention to prevent the onset of drug use and dependence.
Interventions Based on Scientific Evidence are designed to prevent initiation and escalation of drug use and related problems among children who are exposed to risk conditions and experiences and who have personal characteristics that heighten risk:
- To overcome adversity
- Increase resiliency skills
- Reduce the level of exposure to deleterious factors
Believed to exert effects through improvements in:
- Underlying brain and cognitive functions
- Corresponding skill sets
- Underlying mental health, emotional and behavioral problems
Well-grounded in science on prevention, the standards identifies common characteristics among prevention programmes designed for different age groups and gives an overview over what works and what does not in prevention.
For more information on the UNODCs standards on drug use prevention read the slides by Mr Waidh Maalouf or download the standards.
Effective Drug Prevention: CADCA’s Community Coalition Model
Sue Thau, Public Policy Consultant at CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)
Download Sues presentation here
CADCA was founded in 1992 as a recommendation from the President’s Drug Advisory Council. Today, CADCA supports a comprehensive, data-driven approach to prevent the use of illicit drugs, underage drinking, youth tobacco use, and the abuse of medicines representing more than than 5,000 community coalitions.
CADCA’s Vision is a world of safe, healthy, and drug-free communities.
CADCA´s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy, and drug-free communities globally
Keys to Pushing Back Against Drug Use
- Taking a comprehensive, data-driven approach that appropriately mobilizes those who have a role in reducing access to and availability of drugs
- Changing social norms about the harms that drug use can cause is also critical
A coalition is a formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration between groups or sectors of the community, in which each group retains its identity but all agree to work together towards a common goal of building a safe, healthy, and drug-free communit
Coalitions bring together community sectors to develop and carry out data-driven, evidence-based strategies to achieve population-level reductions in substance abuse rates to include underage drinking, tobacco use, illicit drug use, prescription drug and OTC misuse and abuse
The Health & Social Effects of Nonmedical Cannabis Use - The State of Knowledge: Knowns & Unknowns
Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse WHO HQ Geneva
Presented by Mr Dag Rekve
What follows is a shortened version presentation of the report.
The full presentation can be downloaded here.
The report of non-medical use of cannabis is produced by the WHO and can be downloaded here
The report is about:
- nonmedical use of cannabis, not medical use.
- the health and social effects of cannabis use.
- the current knowledge on a very broad impact on health; “what we know”.
- priority areas for future research; where we lack sufficient knowledge.
The report is the outcome of two years of work and was developed by a broad range of scientists, medical doctors, experts that provided background papers in their area of expertise. An expert meeting was held to discuss and review the evidence. A smaller group drafted the report led by three main editors. The work was reviewed by external reviewers.
The report covers:
- Cannabis substance profile and its health impact.
- Neurobiology of cannabis use.
- Short-term effects of cannabis.
- Mental health and psychosocial outcomes of long-term cannabis use.
- Long-term cannabis use and non-communicable diseases.
- Prevention: interventions targeting families, school settings, vulnerable groups.
- Treatment of disorders: therapies, management of acute cannabis intoxication and withdrawal, relapse prevention.
How has WHO judged the evidence?
First requirement: Evidence of an association between cannabis use and the health outcome
Second requirement: Evidence that makes reverse causation an implausible explanation of the association. To rule out that cannabis use is a consequence of the health outcome rather than the cause of it.
Third requirement: Most difficult, to assess evidence that the association is not explained by other uncontrolled or unmeasured factors (as cannabis users are likely to use other drugs, and of the difference from non-users in risk-taking etc.).
Fourth requirement: A causal relationship between cannabis use and the health outcome is biologically plausible
Other factors that may support a causal interpretation include strength of the association, dose–response relationships, specificity of the association and reversibility of the effect after removal of the drug.
How have WHO defined the harms to health?
WHO has looked at the severity of the effects do to:
- The properties of the substance itself
- The form and mode of administration used
- The characteristics of the person taking the substance
- The social context in which it is taken
What we know about the short-term effects of cannabis use
The most obvious short-term health effect of cannabis is intoxication marked by disturbances in the level of consciousness, cognition, perception, affect or behaviour, and other psychophysiological functions and responses.
A minority of first-time cannabis users become very anxious, have panic attacks, experience hallucinations and vomit. These symptoms may be sufficiently distressing to prompt affected users to seek medical care.
Acute use impairs driving and contributes to an increased risk of traffic injuries.
There is some evidence that cannabis use can trigger coronary events. Recent case reports and case series suggest that cannabis smoking may increase CVD risk in younger cannabis smokers who are otherwise at relatively low risk.
What we know about the long-term effects of regular cannabis use
Regular cannabis users can develop dependence on the drug. The risk may be around 1 in 10 among those who ever use cannabis, 1 in 6 among adolescent users, and 1 in 3 among daily users.
Withdrawal syndrome is well documented in cannabis dependence.
Growing evidence reveals that regular, heavy cannabis use during adolescence is associated with more severe and persistent negative outcomes than use during adulthood.
In a number of prospective studies there is a consistent dose−response relationship between cannabis use in adolescence and the risk of developing psychotic symptoms or schizophrenia.
The association between cannabis use and psychosis or schizophrenia has been recognized for over two decades in at least four ways:
- Cannabis produces a full range of transient schizophrenia-like positive, negative and cognitive symptoms in some healthy individuals.
- In those harbouring a psychotic disorder, cannabis may exacerbate symptoms, trigger relapse and have negative consequences on the course of the illness
- With heavy cannabis use, susceptible individuals in the general population develop a psychotic illness which is associated with age of onset of use, strength of THC in the cannabis, frequency of use and duration of use.
- Cannabis use is associated with lowering the age of onset of schizophrenia It is likely that cannabis exposure is a "component cause" that interacts with other factors to precipitate schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder, but is neither necessary nor sufficient to do so alone.
Long-term cannabis smoking produces symptoms of chronic and acute bronchitis, as well as microscopic injury to bronchial lining cells, but it does not appear to produce COPD.
Long-term heavy cannabis smoking can potentially trigger myocardial infarctions and strokes in young cannabis users.
Smoking a mix of cannabis and tobacco may increase the risk of cancer and other respiratory diseases but it has been difficult to decide whether cannabis smokers have a higher risk, over and above that of tobacco smokers.
There is suggestive evidence that testicular cancer is linked to cannabis smoking and this potential link should be investigated further.
What we know about prevention and treatment
Evidence-based preventive interventions should cover the whole prevention chain from universal and selective to indicated prevention.
Comprehensive family prevention that involves training for parents, children and the family collectively is found to be effective in reducing both lifetime cannabis use and past-year use in adolescents.
Life skills programmes that combine both a social competence curriculum and social influence approaches are shown to reduce cannabis use at 12-month follow-up and beyond.
Interactive social programmes targeting vulnerable young people is found to be effective in reducing past-month cannabis use.
A single-session brief psychological intervention of 30−45 minutes increases the chances of cannabis cessation if people are not dependent on cannabis.
Many people with cannabis-use disorders cease cannabis use without treatment.
For people who are dependent on cannabis, family interventions are effective for adolescents, and CBT, MET and PPS are effective in adults.
- Category: The ECAD Mayors' Conference
Participants are being rebooked to hotels Thon Hotel Maritime, Kongsgaten 32, Stavanger and Scandic Forum, Gunnar Warebergs Gate 17, Stavanger.
You will be informed in a separate email during the afternoon to which of the two hotel you are being rebooked.
In order to make it easier for you to find the Conference venue (Eiganesveien 64) , Welcome Reception on Sunday (at Ledaal, Eiganesveiein 45), Conference Dinner on Monday (at Olavskleivå 25, Klubben), and Skagenkaien for the Boat Tour on Wednesday we have prepared a map for you down here (klick on the map).
Conference Venue, Eiganesveien 64 is pinpointed.
Klick here to open the map: Conference logistics
For all details regarding the program and venue of the conference please see the attached programme in pdf
A warm welcome to Stavanger!
- Category: The ECAD Mayors' Conference
Proactivity beats Reactivity : Examining the evidence for sound drug prevention in our cities
Download Programme Highlights (PDF)
or fax it to +46 8 508 29 466
- Category: The ECAD Mayors' Conference
The 22th ECAD Mayors Conference was held in Malta on the 11th and 12th of May 2015. The conference theme was how we can prepare ambitous and comprehensive drug policies in our cities and nations in preparation for UNGASS 2016. The presentations given during the conference aimed to shed light on various aspects of the drug problem and give practical examples on how our cities can better adress their drug problems ahead.
Linda Nilsson Secretary General of World Federation Against Drugs
#2 Exploring the Social, Legal, and Neurodevelopmental Impacts of Cannabis Use: A Colorado Perspective
Sean LeNoue, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow (CR-2),
Chief Resident, Denver Health Medical Centre, University of Colorado, Department of Psychiatry
# 3 Escaping the Security Dilemma: Fostering a Discussion on Drugs and Organized Crime Based on Evidence and not Slogans
Angela Me, Chief, Research and Trend Analysis Branch, United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
#4 How Cities can Work Together in Prevention: Experiences from the Three Cities Project in Sweden
Therese Holmkvist, Project Manager, and Anders Eriksson, Development Manager, Social Development Unit, Social Affairs Administration, City of Stockholm,
# 5 Drug Policy Futures: What is ECAD doing to Influence Drug Policy Ahead?
Erik Leijonmarck, Secretary General ECAD
# 6 The Role of the State in the Prevention of Substance Misuse and Rehabilitation of Drug Users
Alfred Grixti, CEO, Foundation for Social Welfare, Malta
#7 Science before Action: The Importance of Evidence in Prevention
Jón Sigfusson, M.Ed., Master of Public Health and Education, BA,
Director of celandic Centre for Social Research and
Analysis, Director of Youth in Europe Project
#8 An Alternative to Imprisonment for Criminal Drug Addicts: The Norwegian Drug Court Model
Ingunn Seim, Lawyer, Leader of the Drug Treatment Court project
in Bergen, Norway
# 9 Environmental Catastrophe: Drug Producers and Traffickers are Major Polluters around the World
Walter Kegö, Senior Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Policy,
- Category: The ECAD Mayors' Conference
May 11-12, 2015, hosted by Swieqi Local Council, Malta
"Building towards a comprehensive and ambitious drug policy
In preparation for UNGASS 2016"
Preparations for the 22nd ECAD Mayors Conference hosted by Swieqi Local Council, Malta are in the full swing. Save May 10-12, 2015 for professional networking in Malta!
Conference programme is being set up at the moment and ECAD will continuously update you on the latest details.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior, a 5-star hotel in Valetta is the Conference Venue. The hotel is situated in the capital of Malta, the city of Valetta which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can boast with magnificent accomodation, breathtaking views of Marsamxett harbour and Manoel Island and also allows for easy travel to all parts of the Maltese islands.
Programme Highlights (PDF)
Conference Booking Form (Word)
Hotel Booking Form (Word)