The panelists of the first day, among them Rowdy Yates, a president of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (TC), agreed upon the thought that TC is not about living in a community, it is about learning to live right, to live a "normal" life, attaching value to the people, being responsible and less egocentrical.
Daily pressure and plenty of room for individualism distort general human values and often become the reason why drugs are being used in modern societies. Modern culture of youth is driven by immediate struggle for consuming everything right now and leaves little space and time for care or attention towards members of the family, friends and humanity in general.
Prevention and recovery is about giving the right skills and competences for young people and their families, being close to children, putting family members close to one another, TC panel participants consented.
Frans Koopmans, responsible for prevention and public relations at De Hoop Foundation, spoke about the right choices for young people, stressing that importance of influence of norms in social context must be addressed at all levels, governmental and local levels, as well as at the family level.
More than 2000 guests participated in the Forums on Friday and Saturday, October 5-6, including ex-Mayor of Milan Mrs. Letizia Moratti, a newly appointed President of RAI Mrs. Anna Maria Tarantola who was on the discussion panel on Saturday, together with Mr. Giovanni Serpelloni, Head of the antidrug policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Dr. Gilberto Gerra, Chief for drug rehabilitation and prevention at the UNODC.
Dr. Gerra pinpointed that interpersonal relationships lie at the heart of prevention. Recent American research revealed that 13-19 year old regular cannabis smokers have 8 to 10 points lower IQ than their drug-free counterparts. Thus cannabis smoking implies social and emotional impairment to the individual development of young people.
Quo prodis? - Who is interested in having a new generation of people having lower IQ, wondered Doctor Gerra openly.
Young people should act as protagonists against the normalisation of drug use for - "who wants to live in a society where drugs are a way of life?"
ECAD supports this message wholeheartedly and thanks SanPatrignano for this event of tremendous importance and for inspiring insight into their community life!
Download the Programme in PDF
Members of the Board are city officials, heads of units for health and social services or/and politicians from city councils.
This time the AB meeting focused on several projects applied for funding, ECAD constitution and election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman, planning of the next year`s Mayors` conference and the culture of synthetic drugs spreading promptly in Europe.
- In September ECAD received an invitation letter from Hon. Sergey S. Sobyanin, the Mayor of Moscow, Russia, to host the 20th Mayors` Conference in 2013. ECAD is now proud to plan the next Mayors` conference in Moscow on 13-15 May, 2013. First Announcement and general information about travel and other particulars will be published here soon.
- ECAD Board discussed growing availability of synthetic drugs in Europe, the issue that is acutely disturbing in the western parts of Europe, particularly in Ireland these days. Chairman Jim Corr who is a council member in Cork, Ireland, urged all present colleagues to be alert in their home countries about a new substance that had caused lethal cases among young men recently in Kinsale, Co. Cork. The substance contains two amphetamines: methylamphetamine or ecstasy and paramethoxymethamine or PMMA, a stimulant and psychedelic, known also as "Dr.Death" or "Mandy". These two chemicals are used for recreational purposes and induced many deaths also in Australia, Scotland, Israel, Canada and the U.S.
Drug users in Ireland recently admitted that the era of the head shops, which ended two years ago when the products they sold were banned, ushered in a new culture of synthetic drugs. Many head shop products had gone underground and became available from drug dealers operating in diverse locations throughout cities and towns in the last months. Doctors express concerns that a chemical chaos of today implies myriads of lethally potent substances that are very complex to identify.
ECAD thanks warmly the city of Göteborg, Sweden, for hosting the meeting in Swedish second biggest city, demonstrating its traditional generosity to ECAD and being active member of the Advisory Board!
"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.
"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 European 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.
WeFree Days in SanPatrignano is a very special event, created and implemented thanks to the contribution of the people living in the community. WeFree Days mark the start of the annual project for the school year 2012-2013. The two day event will offer the opportunity to learn more about subjects related to drug addiction and social marginalisation.
The aim is to stimulate debate on finding common solutions to the drug consumption trend, and more than 2000 students are expected to participate, along with representatives of international and national institutions, United Nations and delegates from associations engaged in social work around the world.
Among invited guests this year we hope to see Richard Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office for National, Drug Control Policy, Gilberto Gerra, Director of the UNODC prevention department, Jeff Lee, Executive Director for Mentor International, H.R.H. Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, H.E. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, Giovanni Serpelloni, Director of Italian National Anti-Drug Department and many other prominent figures and professionals.
Download the Programme for WeFee Days (PDF)
ECAD Sweden has a very broad member network that has been continuously engaged in drug-related issues and watchful for the letter of UN drug conventions, being active in experience exchange and international cooperation between drug policy coordinators, practitioners and politicians.
The next Annual Conference for Swedish ECAD members will take place in Gävle, September 18-19. Please take some time and read the invitation here (In Swedish).
Visit us at http://www.ecad.net/svnet/
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. (...)
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.
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.
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.
ECAD has received lots of positive feedback recently from those who participated in our annual Mayors` Conference in Killarney.
Therefore we would like to share the most interesting conference materials with you. Please check the speeches we have published so far under Conference Papers in the Menu to the left.
ECAD Lifetime Achievement Award issued for the first time was given to His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland. President of Iceland, Patron of pan-European Drug Prevention Programme Youth in Europe, has since many years been committed to the fight against drugs and to drug prevention. The impressive and successful development in Iceland regarding the decrease in drug abuse was not a coincidence, but a result of dedication and skills among the whole society—led by His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
(Receiving the Award from ECAD Chaiman Cllr Jim Corr in the picture)
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 working 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.
XIXth Mayors´ Conference in Killarney, co-hosted by the Swedish municipality of Staffanstorp, will be remembered by ECAD members with warmest gratitude and by all other conference participants hopefully as a great success.
His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland and the Patron of pan-European drug prevention programme Youth in Europe honoured the conference with his presence and accepted ECAD Lifetime Achievement Award. His Excellency has since many years been committed to the fight against drugs and to drug prevention.
President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson spoke bluntly about primary victims of the most profitable industry in the world, young people in each city, every day subject to killings by illicit drug industry and its´ servants.
ECAD Annual Award (2011) went to SanPatrignano Recovery Community in Italy, gracefully accepted by Monica Luppi (picture below), one of the excellent speakers at the conference.
Conference Materials will be published on ecad.net in the nearest days. Please return for updates!
Conference hosts and organizers with the President of Iceland. In the front row (sitting left to right):
Michael Sandin, Mayor of Staffanstorp, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, Sean Counihan, Mayor of Killarney and Jim Corr, ECAD Chairman.