Protect unborn children from the damages of drugs

On November 21 ECAD organized a conference in Minsk in Belarus together with Women’s Committee on Alcohol and Drugs Issues (WOCAD) and Mothers against Drugs. The conference gathered around 40 representatives working as midwives in Belarus. The conference was held as a part of a 3-year long project between ECAD and WOCAD and is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The project supports the work against drugs in Belarus and prioritizes training and support of young women and girls. Deputy director Ake Setréus represented ECAD in the conference and made a speech about the importance of working against drug use, maintaining a restrictive public opinion against drugs and working for democratic societies.

Two pleased delegates from a Child Protection Organization

ECAD-representative Fabio Bernabei, a committed and outspoken voice against drugs, has been awarded the "Heart And Speech Against Drugs prize in memory of murdered Irish jorunalist Veronica Guerrin for his investigative journalism. The award was given by the mayor of Blagoevgrad - Dr. Atanas Kambitov and the ambassador of Ireland in Bulgaria – H.E. John Biggar. 

ECAD congratulates Fabio for the recognition of his work and is proud to have him on board as our Italian representative.
Read more: ECAD Representative Fabio Bernabei Awarded a Prize in Bulgaria

Read more: ECAD Representative Fabio Bernabei Awarded a Prize in Bulgaria

Every year ECAD makes a study visit to the Italian drug rehabilitation of San Patrignano, in Riccione. This year, a delegation from Sweden, Lithuania, Russia, Malta and Italy met with some of San Patriganos over 1300 residents. The residents spoke about recovery from addiction through compassion, hard work and a joint committment to freedom from drugs. San Patrignano have remarkable results and have become a role model for treatment centers around the world, without costing the tax payers a single euro.

If you want to know more please contact the center, or even better yet - join ECAD´s next trip to San Patrignano in the fall of 2015.

Down below you will find ECAD delegation member Emmely Wikholms impression from this years trip.

Read more: ECAD Delegation Visits San Patrignano

Hi Emmely, who are you and why did you join us to San Patrignano? Hi, my name is Emmely Wikholm and I am a member of the social Welfare Board and the drug commission in Gävle, Sweden for the Green Party. My mission is to decrease the use of illicit drugs within the local population with the focus at youths.  

What was your impression of the treatment center and the people you met there? The treatment center and the environment had the right spirit. Work, education and the feeling of belonging is the key to a life without drugs. When we got the tour around San Patrignano by three young guys living there I got the impression that they now had hopes and dreams in their lives. 

Did you like the conference and what will you bring back to Gävle? I enjoyed the conference and got a view of the drug politic and situation in Italy. Also the view that you don't need drugs to be sober from other drugs. We also listened to a presentation about drug courts from an american judge. It would be really interesting to see if that could be introduced in Sweden.  

ECAD will be soon holding two international conferences: October 10 in SanPatrignano, Riccione, Italy, and November 12, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Read more: ECAD Conferences this Autumn

ECAD new Secretary General, Erik Leijonmarck, will be speaking on Contemporary Drug Problem and Illicit Globalisation on October 10th, at ECAD own seminar in Riccione.
On the occasion of the WeFree Days, October 10-11, in San Patrignano,  the Community will launch a new initiative against marijuana legalization - Legalife - in favour of a new kind of education, promoting passion, talent and commitment instead of drugs. You will find the preliminary version here (Download PDF)
The Legalife Movement was established in October 2014 by 10 organizations with decades of experience in recovery from addiction, research and educational programmes, aiming to find answers to these and other questions, to devise new solutions in keeping with modern times, and to offer substantial opportunities.
ECAD guests will be able to participate at the event in the SanPatrignano Community.

The Forum "Out of Prison to build a better future" on Friday, October 10, will focus on international best practices and shared expertise to respond to the consequences of drug addict offenders.
On October 11, Euromedia research will present the findings on the meaning of entertainment among young and how much it it is related to going beyond the limits and getting high.

As this autumn procedes, Swedish City of Gothenburg (Göteborg) will host an important international conference "Drugs - an environmental disaster", on November 12.
This is a unique event with high-ranked international speakers as Kevin Sabet, Head of the Narcotic Policy Institute, University of Florida, USA, Professor Patrick Van Damme and Dr Wouter Vanhove, University of Ghent, Belgium, Fay Watson, Secretary General at EURAD and many others.
Conference is free of charge (Languages: Swedish and English). Download programme in Swedish (PDF)  


Read more: Introducing New Secretary General at ECADECAD has a new Secretary General starting November 1, 2014, Erik Leijonmarck. ECAD Head Office looks forward to working with Erik and would like to share some of our newly elected Secretary General`s background.

Erik Leijonmarck has previous experience of research and policy work on organized crime and drug trafficking derived from the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm, Sweden.

He is an author and co-author of numerous publications on drugs, organized crime and human trafficking and is a member of the European Consortium of Political Research´s Standing Group on Organised Crime

Erik Leijonmarck holds lectures for public sector and civil society on drug prevention and drug policy options, and is an active participant in the contemporary debate on drug policy in Sweden, primarily in the field of cannabis. He was awarded the 2014 honorary prize by the youth organization Criminals Return Into Society, Unga KRIS. 

Erik is also an active member of the U-FOLD - Forum for research on addiction to medical products and illegal drugs at Uppsala University.

As new Secretary General, Erik sets his goal to make ECAD an increasingly active voice in the European drug debate.  He will prioritize making ECAD a relevant actor in the preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem in 2016.

Welcome to ECAD, Erik!


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.


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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.