Read more: ECAD Sweden Annual MeetingThese days, September 18-19, Swedish branch of ECAD holds its annual meeting. The meeting is open for the public and many national and international organisations working in the same field take part in the debates on cannabis and discussions of action plans as well as prevention work as seen by the young people.

"The more cities join the organisation, the more opportunities open up for improving drug situation in the member countries", says Dario Espiga, chairperson for ECAD Sweden representing the city of Gothenburg at this meeting, in a press release.

This Wednesday the municipality of Gävle receives Swedish ECAD Annual Award for anti-drug initiatives, thus becoming a role-model for other Swedish municipalities to look up to when it comes to political and practical involvement in drug policy matters.

Gaevle_coat_of_arms"To learn from each other is a key to successful drug policy", says Dario Espiga.

Swedish ECAD Annual Award can be given to a municipality, a person or an organisation for brilliant work against drug spread in the community.

Gävle municipality has become an excellent example of heightening the level of knowledge among drug policy coordinators, taking initiatives for cross-border cooperation, travelling to other E
uropean cities for experience and information exchange and thus applying genuine engagement in drug policy matters to everyday policy work, the Award motivation states.

Today ECAD has members in 30 countries and ECAD Sweden has 40 member cities in its local network.


Today is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The United Nations General Assembly will hold a thematic debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development, Tuesday 26 June in New York.
The event, convened on the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, highlights the impact of drugs and crime on poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals, and discusses ways of improving the international community's coordinated efforts to address the adverse impact of drugs and crime on development.
At the forum, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov will launch the 2012 World Drug Report.

We would like to draw attention to the message of the UN Secretary General, as announced today:

"Drug abuse and illicit trafficking continue to have a profoundly negative impact on development and stability across the world. The billions of dollars generated from illicit drugs fuel terrorist activities and abet other crimes such as human trafficking and the smuggling of arms and people.

Illicit drugs and related criminal networks undermine the rule of law.  And the impunity with which they go about their business causes tremendous fear and sows disillusion with governance at all levels.  (...)
The drug, crime and corruption conventions of the United Nations form a solid basis for global solutions to these challenges. Together, these instruments offer a balanced approach to halt trafficking, promote viable alternatives to the farmers of cash crops, and offer drug users their health and human rights.    

 Our efforts to promote development and fight drugs and crime will be more effective if they are rooted in partnerships with the young, civil society, governments and the international community. Working together, we can alleviate the suffering of millions and break the hold of drugs and crime on countries, communities and families".  

ECAD invites you to join annul high level forum for international and Italian political bodies, media, artists and relevant international associations to increase awareness about harms to health, society and environment, caused by use, trafficking and production of drugs. The forum and ECAD seminar will take place on October 5-7, in San Patrignano, near Rimini, Italy.Read more: Learning about Prevention & Treatment at San Patrignano

Seminar Programme and General Information (PDF)

ECAD organizes separate seminarium about Prevention and Treatment on October 5, with internationally profiled experts and NGO with tight connections to UNESCO and ECOSOC, representatives working in 11 countries, developing innovative programmes and projects in the fields of education.

Join us and experience international WeFree Day at the largest therapeutic community, where independently verified recovery rates surpass 70%!

You may find interesting to join discussions about prevention and treatment, therapeutic communities and talk about the so called "normalisation of drugs". 

This is a unique opportunity to share best practices among representatives of international and Italian institutions, to get educational opportunities in the TC model and  to listen to international speakers.  This year`s topics are drug addiction and youth social exclusion.

Your ideas and notions about recovery and treatment will be challenged as you will be given an opportunity to see the effects of rehabilitation, professional training and social reintegration when people are given a chance to start anew.

Please book to participate by sending Seminar Booking Form back to us via mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (you scan the form and attach it to your mail) or fax (+46) 8 508 29 466.

NB: You should book your hotel room yourself, we have negotiated special rates at Hotel Feldberg for our guests, find the details in the Seminar Booking Form.

Scientific data show that drug addiction is increasing among the youth. It is crucial to infrorm them on risk vulnerability and threats, but this is not enough.
The current limit of prevention campaign is to be too informative and less engaging. The challenge of Peer to Peer education is to share stories who can speak to young minds through their hearts.

More than 320 people from all parts of the world gathered under these 3 days (21-23 May) of May in Stockholm to share ideas, knowledge and evidence in support of the global network of NGOs worRead more: IIIrd World Forum Against Drugs: Results and Reflectionsking in the spirit of UN conventions on drugs.

The Forum was opened by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, the Forum being under the patronage of Her Majesty. 

The topics of the 3rd WFAD were:

Human Rights and the Rights of the Child to be protected from illicit drugs
Illicit drug use and trafficking problems of Latin America
Primary prevention and its role in drug policy

ECAD is a member of WFAD and had an honour to moderate a special session on best practices in primary and secondary prevention.

These three days were filled with inspiration and networking, involvement of high profile policy-makers and young volunteers stating their support in favour of Recovery, Drug-Free reality and Youth that needs protection from drug use and drug trafficking.
These three words were also the key elements to summarize the discussions and statements of the forum, concluded today by Robert L. DuPont, a leader in drug abuse prevention and treatment in the USA for more than 30 years.

Drug-free is an objective reality and recovery is a striving for a better and more honest life with fulfillment. All of us, wishing a brighter future for the youth acknowledge that it is our responsibility to intervene and to stop drug abuse. "The Forum is a growing community that shares the vision, the Mission - to deal with a huge problem of exposure to powerful drugs, it is our responsibility", said Robert DuPont.

The 3rd Forum resulted in a Joint Statement For a humane and balanced drug policy (Download PDF) signed by representatives of Italy, Russian Federation, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA.

2012 marks the centennial of the adoption of the first International Opium Convention (Hague, 1912). High representative of 5 mentioned countries expressed their engagement in a balanced approach to a global drug problem, combining effective enforcement to restrict the supply of drugs with efforts to reduce demand and build recovery, supporting people to live a life free from addiction.

Recognizing the right of everyone to enjoyment of the highest possible physical and mental health, which includes the right to be protected from drug abuse, the leaders of these countries stated that they were clearly determined to rise to this challenge.

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'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.

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: and access the full report here
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26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019



and 6th World Forum Against Drugs

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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)


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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.