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
The city of Blagoevgrad in Bulgaria awards members of law enforcement in Bulgaria and all over the world who have done outstanding efforts to combat criminality and corruption. The award is in the memory of italian mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone who was assassinated in 1992.

Dear Mrs Vice Mayor,
Your Excellency Ambassador,
Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for the hospitality of the city of Blagoevgrad shown to ECAD and for inviting me here to attend the award in memory of Giovanni Falcone.

My name is Erik Leijonmarck and I am the secretary general of European Cities Action Network for Drug Free Societies (ECAD) which this city, Blagoevgrad, is a member.

ECAD was founded in 1994 by cities that wanted stronger actions on illicit drugs and reject legalization of them. Since then, our cities have worked very hard to address the size of their drug problems through concerted actions on drugs by investing in prevention, treatment and control.

Today that fight is more important than ever. The challenges we are facing are twofold:

The first challenge comes from commercial interests who invest to make drugs legal, accepted and promoted to young people, much like alcohol and tobacco is today. With commercialized cannabis in North America, parents across the world are now facing an assault on their young ones from commercials, from popular culture and from wall street aimed at sparking addiction in the young vulnerable brain.

Parents need to be vigilant on the allure of drugs, reinforced by commercialization, for youngster. Parents need to be close with their children and have a strong communicative bond with them, embodied by mutual trust and respect. Parents need to be monitoring their children and know what they are up to and with whom their children spend time.

The second challenge comes from the mafia and the traffickers in drugs. Society cannot cede ground to corruption, violence or threats to the rule of the law. Those who do their part in this fight, prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, customs officers and others, must be remembered and honored as they truly are heroes to the rest of us.

Let the example set by Giovanni Falcone ripple through history and make a precedent for all of us to keep our vigilance up and spirits high.

I want to thank the city of Blagoevgrad for keeping the flame burning and Giovanni Falcones memory vivid.
Thank you.

Read more: ECAD speaks at award ceremony for anti-mafia in Bulgaria
ECADs 26th Mayors Conference - Pathways to Recovery is now open for registration!

The conference will be held in beautiful Cork on Ireland on June 13-14th 2019 and discuss the topic of recovery from addiction.

In what ways can municipalities facilitate recovery among their citizens? What ís recovery capital? How can we replace the chain of brief interventions, health stabilizations, relapses and criminality to sustain a long term recovery? How can we progress those with an addiction along a journey from being a heavy burden on themselves and others  towards becoming valuable and contributing members of their societies?

These are some of the questions we look forward to discuss with you.

Registration here:

Hotels here:

ECAD is organizing a workshop on evidence based primary prevention in cooperation with reserachers from Iceland. The workshop co-organized with the city of Stockholm and the Stockholm county.

Participation is free of cost.

09.00-09.20 Introduction

Sofia Herlitz County Administrative Board Stockholm

Therese Holmkvist Stockholm City, Social Administration

Erik Leijonmarck, ECAD

09.20-09.50 About Planet Youth – how it started and what was done,

Jón Sigfússon, Planet Youth, ICSRA, Iceland (in English)

09.50-10.30 Theoretical starting points and scientific evidence

Inga-Dora Sigfúsdottir, Planet Youth, ICSRA, Iceland (in English)


10.45-11.30 About Planet Youth in Sweden – challenges and way forward

Håkan Leifman, Planet Youth ICSRA

11.30-12.00 Discussion, questions

Read more at:

Read more: Workshop on Evidence Based Primary Prevention in Stockholm 6 February


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.