ECAD visited member city of Kaunas, Lithuania, on April 17th this week. Kaunas municipality has always been a role model in ECAD, and this visit resulted in plans for activities for 2012 and 2013.
Read more: ECAD Visit to Kaunas, Lithuania
ECAD director and project manager met Kaunas vice Mayor Stanislovas Buškevičius, and a group of municipal officers, Mr.Antanas
Bagdonas, Head of Education and Training Division, Lina Borisevičienė, International Relations and Protocol Division Chief Specialist  as well as Mrs. Rasa Šerpytriene, Kaunas A. Žikevičius Safe Child School, Tautvydas Zikaras, Director of KaunRead more: ECAD Visit to Kaunas, Lithuaniaas County Center for Addictive Disorders and Virginijus Mažeika, Director of Education and Cultural Affairs Board.

Vice Mayor Stanislovas Buškevičius (standing in the picture) was concerned about the role of alcohol and tobacco marketing, preventative work in the city and discussions with city officials focused on
challenges to improve knowledge among politicians in other cities as well as
the ways of  spreading good ideas on how to work so that as few as possible get involved in drugs.
ECAD plans to carry out an international ECAD conference in Kaunas in the spring of 2013.

 The exact dates are yet to be decided; among proposed conference topics were cooperation with twin cities of Kaunas, comparing drugs, tobacco and alcohol consumption trends, as a part of Youth in Europe questionnnaire findings and leisure activities for children as prevention measures, national and Read more: ECAD Visit to Kaunas, Lithuanialocal initiatives.

The city of Kaunas has demonstrated genuine interest in prevention and is taking an active position in ECAD as it leads the drug prevention work in the country by setting examples of effecient local prevention work not only in Lithuania but also in the EU. A role model of this scale is Kaunas Zhikevichius Safe Child School, focused on health and safety issues for children between 7 and 18, providing preventative courses for app. 5000 schoolchildren in Kaunas. 

ECAD thanks Kaunas Municipality and especially Lina Borisevičienė for an exceptionally well-organized visit and a warm welcome in Kaunas!

Left to right: Jörgen Svidén, ECAD Director, Antanina Medvedeviene, Kaunas city Councilor and Lina Boriseviciene, Kaunas International Relations Division chief specialist by Kaunas Castle.


ECAD took part in the 55th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs this weekMarch 12-16 in Vienna as an observer for Drug Free America. This year´s session was a special one, marking one hundredth anniversary of the Opium Convention signed in 1912 in Hague.

There was a number of important resolutions prepared by the member states: promoting treatment alternatives to imprisonment as a strategy for drug demand reduction (Mexico), promoting female oriented strategies and interventions for women at risk of drug abuse and drug dependence (Denmark), reintegration of persons released from prison who have renounced drug abuse (Ukraine) and others.

As a board member of Vienna NGO Committe on Drugs ECAD was involved in organizing the first Informal Civil Society Hearing, capitalizing on establishing relationships between governments and civil society at the CND. Three informal dialogues with the head of INCB, Prof. Hamid Ghodse,  Executive Director of UNDC, Yury Fedotov, and the Chair of CND, Carmen Bujan Feire, were organized by the Committee and the key persons of the drug policy stressed their efforts to establish a sustainable cooperation with NGOs on the regular basis.

The overwhelming amount of seminars and side events left very little room for reflection but the key message of the CND was probably delievered already at the opening session by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov:

"Crucially, the international community must protect children. Young people need to live a rewarding life that offers numerous ways of obtaning enjoyment without the need for drugs.
UNODC`s own work on behalf of children exposed to drugs has started in Afghanistan and will extend soon to West Africa and East Asia. (...)

UNODC also stands ready to work with governments to improve access to drugs for medical purposes - particularly pain medications - while also countering diversion and drug abuse. Overall, our work on treatment side must be considered as part of the normal clinical work undertaken when responding to any other desease in the health system.

Our commitment is founded on the drug conventions. They form a part of a continuum based on human rights and the rule of law that flows directly from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international standards and norms to our delivery of practical actions. (...)"

Complete speech can be downloaded here (PDF-file)

33th and the 6th articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, upholding the right of children to live and develop in the drug-free communities have thus been underscored.

Youth Initiative, launched by the UNODC at the CND, alternative development and promoting of health-oriented approach with respect to human rights were important issues stressed at the multiple side-events and general sessions.
TherapRead more: 100 Replies to Medical Marijuanaeutical use of marijuana is a highly debated topic not only in the US but also in Europe.

A new book written by Italian journalist Fabio Bernabei will definitely give you some food for thought on this:
"Cannabis medica: 100 risposte sull`uso terapeutico della marijuana" published by Sugarco Edizioni (2012) is available in Italian.

Please contact ECAD office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to know more about this book or its author.


Read more: 55th CND in ViennaRead more: 55th CND in Vienna

We would like to inform our members and interested NGOs about the possibility to get to know more about the activities at the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
The CND will take place during week 11, March 12-16, 2012.

As a member of Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, ECAD is pleased to offer a guide to the 55th Session of CND to brief NGOs about the participation in one of the major drug policy events of the year.
All the documents for the CND, including draft resolutions, can be found on the website of the United Nations On Drugs and Crime.

Commission on Narcotic Drugs (2012): A briefing for NGOs and CSOs (PDF)

ECAD Advisory Board met in Staffanstorp, Sweden on February 10 and had a strategic planning of the coming Mayors´ conference to be held May 9-12, that preceded the meeting.
Staffanstorp Municipality is a part of Öresund region and a Southern part of Sweden called Skania, the region that is closer to Europe than to the north of Sweden. Staffanstorp is a young and enterprising municipality with 23 000 inhabitants that has been a member of ECAD since 2004.

City-twinning or cooperating internationally are important success factors in the community development, and are also taken seriously by Staffanstorp`s counterparts in Killarney, Ireland. Mikael Sandin, Mayor of Staffanstorp and Sean Counihan, Mayor of Killarney, demonstrated genuine interest as they both engaged in conference planning during these days along with ECAD staff and Advisory Board members.

ECAD Advisory Board had a short dynamic meeting with a lot of development- and policy suggestions.

A delegation of city councellors led by Sean Counihan, Mayor of Killarney talked inter alia about different ways of involving the public and youth into discussions on drugs at the coming conference, which is included in the planing by now.

Read more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in StaffanstorpRead more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in Staffanstorp

Read more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in StaffanstorpRead more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in Staffanstorp

Smaller cities have a lot of incommon, as well as bigger cities do, and that implies that an up-to-date comparison of drug abuse trends and municipal solutions to the problems can be of enormous value both on the local scale and internationally.

However, we cannot focus on illicit drugs only, there is an acute need to involve other aspects, alcohol abuse, parents` role, NGOs, thus sharing opinions, not excluding.

"We need to focus on how to operate together and accept each others`points of view, thus broadening the perspective. That is why we chose to talk about cooperation and a broader perspective at ECAD Mayors` conference this year"
, said Patrik Runesson, Strategical Analyst at Staffanstorp City Council.   

ECAD thanks Staffanstorp City Council and its Mayor, Mikael Sandin, for heartily welcome and generosity towards ECAD.


ECAD's activities from year to year culminate in the annual ECAD Mayors Conference, hosted by a distinct ECAD member city every summer. Councillors and other politicians and policymakers convene with academics and civil society organizations to participate in seminars and study visits, discussing the latest developments in drug prevention efforts throughout Europe.

26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019



and 6th World Forum Against Drugs

Register to

Conference materials

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)


Register to
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.

 WFAD logo jpg  Logo Gothenburg


Kaunas logotypeRegister to

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

Key-note speakers:

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)

a wall of participants



 Conference Booking Form

@ Rokas Tenys, the Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Castle
Picture: @Rokas Tenys

Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!

Archives of ECAD's mailed newsletters from 2003 until 2013. To subscribe to ECAD's new email-based newsletter, click here.
Official ECAD mission statements in six different European languages.
The ECAD Resolution, crafted at a conference to increase cooperation between cities, provides inspiration and hope for areas with particularly difficult drug problems. The signatories to the resolution will affirm their decision to fight against the spread of drugs.