ECAD is a long standing member of the European Commission expert and advisory group Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD). The CSFD is a 45 member large advisory body on drugs to the European Commission consisting of members with various viewpoints and experiences with which to combat drugs and addiction.

Within the CSFD - ECAD, in line with our misson, always seeks to bring attention to all aspects of the drugs issue. Rangning from emphasizing prevention of initation of drug use to the full recovery from addiction including aftercare and meaningful re-integration into society of former offenders ECAD strives to promote an ambitious drug policy. Settling for less harmful sustention of drugs use is, in our opinion, not good enough.

During the fall of 2020 a number of papers and processes have been undertaken by the forum in which we have contributed to feeding into the processes of formulating a new EU drugs strategy 2021-2025, recommendations to classification of cannabis under the International Drug Classification system, and a position paper on vulnerable groups and drug demand reduction in the light of COVID.

ECAD has contributed and fed into the process but we are not always in agreement with the general conclusions or point of departure taken by the forum. 

During a digital seminar on October 22th drug policy in Europe was discussed by ECAD and several other European organisation such as IOGT-NTO, KSAN, WFAD and ACTIS

 

 

 



As Covid 19 struck ECAD has shifted its activities online. During 2020 a number of lectures on drug prevention and parenting have been given.

- In the Swedish county of Halland the counties of Varberg, Halmstad and Kungsbacka were visted pre-covid in a lecture series during the spring. The lectures were filmed and used for prevention purposes by the county administration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

https://newsroom.notified.com/lansstyrelsen-i-hallands-lan-press/posts/pressreleases/erik-leijonmarck-gastar-halland

- In Örnsköldsvik online lectures were given in May directed at parents on what they can do to prevent drug use among their adolescence.

https://www.ornskoldsvik.se/omsorgochhjalp/tryggochsaker/brottsforebyggandearbete.4.7f3f5f04137aa8ca74eab5.html

- In June, ECAD in cooperation with NBV (sobriety movement in Sweden), produced a set of three brief movies on parenting that can be used by parents, social workers and educational facilities to facilitate prevention of drugs use in adolescence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJcKyrMW6WI

 








In October ECAD spoke at 2020 OSCE-wide Conference on Combating the Threat of Illicit Drugs and the Diversion of Chemical Precursors: Strengthening Effective Prevention of Drug Use among Youth through Community Policing.

ECAD presented lessons learned from its 26 year long existance as a network of cities cooperating on drug demand reduction.

What follows is a brief summary of the presentation:

Drug use and drug addiction are multifactorial and complex phenomenon that touches upon biological as well as psychosocial aspects of human life.

The high level of complexity should not discourage us from acting to prevent large scale onset of drug use, especially during the formative period of adolescence when the brain matures, and teenagers produce habits and life patterns for their adult life.

Contrary to common perception, many prevention experts argue that attitudes follow behavior, not the other way around. Trying to make young, thrill seeking adolescents listen to a message of non-drug use will therefore likely be tricky.  


Despite the challenges there are many things societies can do to foster an infrastructure of prevention that aims to change the behaviors of cohorts of young people and subsequently also their attitudes.

European Cities Action Network of Drug Free Societies shares lessons learned, best practices and concrete examples in working to minimize the drug problem derived from its 26 year long existence engaging with local communities and cities across Europe.


To achieve population wide, large-scale reductions in drug demand one needs to foster a network around adolescences in which local and national actors each play their role.

Countries should tap into existing literature and resources on successful drug prevention rather than “just do something”. UNODC international standards on drug use prevention are an excellent start. As is the evidence primary prevention model which originated in Iceland.

Parenting skills, community policing, and recovery-oriented treatment systems should form building blocks of primary prevention strategies to bring down demand for drugs.

The presentation can be found here:


Better Knowledge for better care.


On the 26th of June which is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking (World Drug Day). ECAD together with its partners African Youths Initiative on Crime Prevention and the World Federation Against Drugs held a digital event to discuss tangible steps forward in prevention drugs use in the light of the ongoing COVID epidemic from an African/European perspective.

ECAD gave an overview on the European perspective on drug markets in the ongoing covid pandemic and what steps actors on drug markets takes to accomodate to the new situation. Though most supply routes have remained upon due to shipping still happening as normal local retail drug markets seem to have been offset somewhat in the light of tight restrictions. Active users have been faced with the double burden from not being accomodated by a stressed health care system and also subject to lockdowns. This highlights the need further emmphasize the development of proper infrastructure for prevention of drugs use and to facilitate the full recovery from drugs for active users. 

Read more: Seminar in Commeration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

 

ECAD is happy to welcome to capital of Croatia into our European family of cities dedicated to drug demand reduction.

Read more: Zagreb joins ECAD

By signing the Resolution on the accession of the City of Zagreb to the European Network of Drug Free Cities, the City of Zagreb today became a part of that European Network at the Dverce Palace. The City of Zagreb has pledged to reject all requests for drug legalization, systematically promote drug prevention programs, work on the treatment and counseling of drug addicts, and work to combat any drug abuse. The resolution was signed by Mayor Milan Bandic in the presence of Vigg Lutcherath, President of the European Network of Drug Free Cities.

I am pleased that today the City of Zagreb is joining the club of 265 cities in Europe without drugs. This is an honor and an obligation that, with this signature, on behalf of the citizens of Zagreb, we will do everything we can to network as many Croatian cities as possible with the intention of making Zagreb and Croatia drug-free, said Mayor Bandic.

Viggo Lutcherath, ECAD President, expressed his pleasure that from now on Zagreb will be able to participate in conferences that they organize at least once a year, all with the aim of preventing and rehabilitating and treating drug addicts, and emphasized that drugs are a huge problem not only for addicts but also to their families and their surroundings. ECAD's international experience and practices will certainly help the City of Zagreb systematically address drug abuse and create even more successful educational projects that highlight the importance of prevention as the best tool in the fight against drugs.

European Network of Drug Free Cities - ECAD was founded in 1994 at the initiative of the City of Stockholm and is Europe's leading network of drug organizations promoting drug-free Europe and representing millions of European citizens. ECAD brings together cities from 30 European countries and supports the existing United Nations drug conventions that oppose legalization and encourage stronger national and international cooperation in the fight against drugs.

Drugs are an ever-growing, multiple threat to our societies. This is why coordination at national, European and international level is needed in order to solve the problem as effectively as possible. New legal frameworks for new psychoactive substances and enhanced cooperation with international partners bring visible results, and thus the City of Zagreb's membership of ECAD will further combat this growing problem. Approximately 96 million adults in Europe have tried some type of illegal drug over their lifetimes, with an estimated 1.2 million people starting addiction treatment annually, which further drives us to systematically address this problem and invest in prevention programs, said Ivan Celić. President of the Commission of the City of Zagreb for the Prevention and Suppression of Drug Abuse and Other Forms of Addiction

Read more: Zagreb joins ECAD
Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic and ECAD Chairman Viggo Lutcherath

Read more: Zagreb joins ECAD
The city has signed the ECAD declaration

Read more: Zagreb joins ECAD
Viggo Lutcherath Chariman of ECAD, Diana Madunic Swedens Ambassador to Croatia, M.D Ivana Portolan Pajic, Ivan Celic
Member of Croatian Parliament, Erik Leijonmarck Secretary General of ECAD

Subcategories

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: https://2022.wfad.se/ and access the full report here
Register to read more...


26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019

coverpicturefirstannouncement20192

25th MAYORS´ CONFERENCE

and 6th World Forum Against Drugs

Register to read more...

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 read more...
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






MAYORS` CONFERENCE 2017




 
Kaunas logotypeRegister to read more...



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 PROGRAMME (PDF)
    

FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT (PDF)

 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.