In February this year, ECAD was nominated by the Swedish government and the Pompidou group of the Council of Europe to take part in a two-module training session on NPS (New Psychoactive Substances). The permanent correspondents of the Member States of the Council of Europe chose the topic this year, which underlines the significance of NPS as aRead more: ECAD participate in Pompidou Group`s  executive training on NPSn issue on the world map of drug policy.
25 countries were represented at the first module of this training that was held in Haifa,  Israel. Israeli Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) hosted the training and the focus is on NPS demand reduction.

A lot of new prevention and intervention techniques were shared with the participating group and the user`s perspective was provided. A stress on the global approach when choosing the intervention and the control over the risks of the NPS use were underscored by the organizers.

ECAD was interested in defining the NPS user groups in order to tailor the prevention tactiques and to learn more about alternative legal responses and the legislative initiatives of Israel seem quite unique.
The challenges of detecting and identifying the NPS are still the same for the police and the health sector, while the number of users with double diagnoses is growing.

The discussions of what was innovative in the Israeli approach to prevention and intervention with the NPS use patterns are of great value for ECAD. We look forward to continue with the second training module this May in Alicante, Spain.

Contact us if you find this topic interesting for your city and we will be happy to share the latest info with you.

Read more: ECAD participate in Pompidou Group`s  executive training on NPS

ECAD and Triple R project partners had a seminar on March 20, in Brussels, in connection to the launch of the three project publications: on Rehabilitation, Social Reinsertion and Justice Intervention. The publications summarize a great deal of experience and work in the field of recovery and alternatives to incarceration.
Participants from 7 European countries came to the Norway House in Brussels yesterday to be present at the launch of the Triple R publications. ECAD Secretary General was moderating the event.

Read more:  Seminar in Brussels: suggestions for policymakers
Read more:  Seminar in Brussels: suggestions for policymakers

The main message of the seminar:

There is a distinct need for a person-oriented and sustainable recovery, imbedded in national drug policy initiatives. The reason for this is a clear cost and benefit correlation effect, the longer the investment in recovery of drug addicts, the bigger are the chances of getting active and working citizens and tax payers in return. The long-term investment is attainable ensuring cooperation between public agencies and civil society and recovery communities.

The polemics at the seminar focused on :
 - investing in personal empowerment
-  offering alternatives to imprisonment,
 - working with drug addicts to motivate for recovery, working with trust and involving peer to peer approach
 - the challenge of free time for recovering addicts.

Suggestions for the policymakers:

Read more:  Seminar in Brussels: suggestions for policymakers
  • Drug policy should be human-centered, with individuals, their needs as the care focus ( directly opposite to the focus on the substance abuse)

  • Recovery should be the leading paradigm in national drug policy legislation, because it offeres the best chance for the long-term well-being of the former addicts, their families and communities

  • Recovery programmes need time and resources to be successful. Politicians should consider supporting the implementation of recovery in practice, according to the national legislative framework.

Contact us to get a hard copy of the publications at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

download your copies from the project website


Manual on drug rehabilitation and recovery

Handbook on Justice Interventions and alternatives to incarceration for drug abuse offenders

Handbook on social reintegration of recovered drug users

Last week ECAD was working in Vienna, participating at the 60th Session of the Commission on Narcotic drugs at the UN.
Among the side events we co-organized, some special attention was devoted to the successfull work in the cities that take part in the Youth in Europe Project.

Read more: Cities lead the way in large scale reduction of drug use

In cooperation with the Government of Iceland, Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, and IOGT Internationaltwo ECAD cities, Riga and Kaunas, highlighted their experience in working with drug use among adolescents.

Cities are the key in implementing the obligations of preventing drug use set up in the UN General Assembly outcome document and the UN drug conventions. A comprehensive use of data on youth life styles and behaviour helps city practitioners to identify local and specific risk and protective factors to guide the cities` interventions on youth. Cities that take actions based on sound data can substantially decrease the levels of adolescent substance use and other unwanted social behaviour.


The presentations of Riga and Kaunas in Vienna were set against the background of the Icelandic research that dates back to 1998.
In 1998, substance use amongst adolescents in Iceland measured the highest in comparison with all the European countries. In 2015 substance use amongst Icelandic adolescents plummeted to the lowest in Europe. The improvement in substance use is the result of a concerted and in science well-grounded action that can be replicated elsewhere.

General discussion and points raised

·         Cities use data differently, some cities work actively with suicide prevention;

·         Some cites see reduction in tobacco and alcohol use but not in cannabis use. Why this was the case, turned into a vivid discussion in Vienna;

·         It is important to have a comprehensive strategy to address both licit and illicit drug use;

·         Difficulties in importing the model from Iceland.


·         Cities should adopt evidence based primary prevention as a basis for their actions on drugs.

·         National legislation should be grounded in evidence and experience gained from evidence based primary prevention.

·         Member states and civil society need to hear that prevention does work when conducted properly.

Further reading on the Icelandic research

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As a co-partner of the Triple R project, ECAD is going to participate in 2 events planned for the next month, in Vienna at the CND, and in Brussels, open for the public.The project partners have been working on the handbooks for a long while and are now ready to present the results.
Our focus in March is on highlighting the publications on successful rehabilitation, social reintegration and justice intervention practices in the EU.

We will start by organizing a side event at the upcoming United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, presenting the Triple R project at Vienna International Center on Monday, March 13, between 1:10-2:00pm.

The event is meant as an introduction to the Triple R Project and will feature the highlights in the 3 thematic areas, presenting the conclusions of the Triple R publications on the subject.


A week after this presentation, the project partners will provide further knowledge in Brussels, illustrating the project results aimed at the successful rehabilitation of drug users.
EU decision makers, NGOs and the public working in the field are welcome to join us on March 20, at the House of Norway in Brussels, Belgium for a half-day seminar.

This event will provide an overview of the rehabilitation and reinsertion models of interventions offered by the Triple R partner organizations.

DATE and TIME: March 20, at 13.30 - 16.00
PLACE: Norway House, Rue Archimede 17, 1000 Brussels.
SEMINAR: Rehabilitation for Recovery and Reinsertion in the EU
Triple R Project on effective rehabilitation models and alternative sentencing

Moderator: Erik Leijonmarck, Secretary General, ECAD

• Welcome coffee
• Setting the scene for the Triple R project,
Elisa Rubini, Deputy Head International Relations, San Patrignano Community, Italy

• How to ensure efficient rehabilitation of drug users: presenting a Manual on drug Rehabilitation
Elisa Rubini, Deputy Head International Relations, San Patrignano Community, Italy

• Movie on Rehabilitation in Practice, 30 min.

• Presenting a Handbook on Justice Intervention and alternatives to incarceration for drug abuse offenders
Alphonse Franssen, Popov GGZ, Care Coordinator, Substance Abuse, East Flanders, and Coordinator/ Liason, Drug Court, Ghent, Belgium

• Presenting a Manual on social reintegration of recovered drug users,
Kristina Blixt, Project Coordinator, Basta Community, Sweden

• Project next steps: Feasibility and Pilot Study in Croatia,
Antonio Molina, Triple Project Evaluator

Please register to participate before March 15, 2017 - send us an email with your details (Name, City, Position, contact details) : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Project initiatives in Vienna and in Brussels

We look forward to meeting in Vienna and Brussels!

logo 3xREU logo

ECAD enters 2017 with a tight schedule while working with the Triple R Project - we are planning launching of the RRR project handbooks in Brussels on Monday, March 20, at 14.00 - 17.00 (to be confirmed).
The seminar at the CoR will disseminate effective rehabilitation models based on the EU Therapeutic Communities`best practices and alternative sentencing.

Project products will come with the rehabilitation of drug users in focus; three manuals will be presented: a Handbook on Justice Intervention, a handbook on reintegration and a manual on how to ensure efficient rehabilitation of drug users.This stage of the RRR project will underscore the importance of stability in European societies, promoting cooperation in the EU, especially in the areas of security, justice and social integration.

Our project partners in Italy, Belgium, Spain and Croatia will showcase their experience in a movie.

Please contact ECAD if you want to participate at this seminar in Brussels and obtain our project products for free: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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.