- Published: 10 January 2012
The City of Kristiansand, Norway, hosted annual conference for Norwegian network of cities in ECAD on January 5, 2012. ECAD Director Jörgen Svidén was one of the participants.
Representatives of Norwegian cities in ECAD meet once a year in January to focus on actual drug issues and discuss activities in their respective cities, to strengthen established contacts and to create new ones. Besides this, there are lectures on different topics to broaden perspectives and to give inspiration and new knowledge. The participants have various professional skills and roles, from leading politicians to practitioners and scientists.
Among great speakers was Else Kristin Utne Berg from Bergen, who presented a survey on trends of drug use and, based on that, ideas on how to react on these figures. The audience also got an interesting and engaged presentation from Kristiansand’s City medical practitioner, Dagfinn Harr, on success factors in the fight to help people overcome drug problems.
Norwegian initiative for ECAD member cities is most welcome in ECAD and is something that should be a role model for cities in other countries, as an important social factor and a professionally useful meeting. Gatherings like this are very inspiring and help set focus on the issue we all work on: how to create a better environment so that as few as possible get in contact with drugs and as many as possible stop taking them.
“Ut av tåka 2012”, a Norwegian annual seminar on cannabis, will be organized on February 22, and "Erfaringsdag", a seminar for drug coordinators from all over Norway, in connection to "Ut av tåka 2012" event will take place on February 21, 2012. Download seminar programme below.
"ERFARINGSDAG" PROGRAMME (PDF)
- Published: 15 December 2011
This book deals with a controversial notion of addiction as a disease, a model that may be misplaced, according to Doctor Manuel Pinto Coelho (picture), ECAD representative in Portugal, medical director of the Permanent Medical Service in Portugal since 2003.
"This book is a proof that drug dependent is not a condemned victim", says Doctor Coelho, who has a degree in Medicine and Surgery. "He or she can free himself by discovering himself and his willpower".
"Touching the spot" is about figuring out a new paradigm to drug dependence, to help everyone who has problems with drugs all over the world, and their families, to live happier lives.
ECAD looks forward to a hard copy of the book to be published in English and Russian in the near future. Contact us if you wish to know more!
- Published: 12 December 2011
In the middle of December Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) holds a reconvened Session to approve budget and agendas for the next CND (55th Session in March 12-16, 2012) for the two coming years.
In connection to this event Vienna NGO Committee had a meeting on December 14.
Meeting agenda focused on planning for the offensive work representing NGOs at the next CND session in March 2012 and arranging a Civil Society Hearing that is proposed to take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2012.
The CND acts as a governing body that decides on the policies to be followed by the UNODC in the area of drugs and approves its budget for this work.
Vienna NGO Committee on drugs is growing stronger in cooperation with the UNODC and Civil Society Team. The Committee is now Austrian legal entity with a seat in Vienna ("Wiener Drogen Komitee" in German).
Members of the Committee are an important link between civil society and the UN bodies, as well as INCB and CND. This year many VNGOC members made contribution in form of contact networks in the countries that INCB chose for its field Missions (eg. Bolivia, Serbia, Turkey, Bangladesh).
NGO participation at the CND sessions in March is informal but there is a possibility to attract more attention to the vital issues through participation in the side events also next year. The number of side events that could be organised by the NGOs is reduced in 2012, which is unfortunate. However, side events are an actual possibility to influence CND agenda and NGOs will remain active, preparing for the CND. The topics of the round table discussions at the CND have been announced already:
a) Counter-narcotics efforts and the principle of common and shared responsibility: opportunities and challenges;
b) Measures to prevent diversion of substances frequently used in the manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances from domestic distribution channels, including by strengthening partnerships with the private sector.
Read more about the criteria for NGO selection to participate in the CND side events at www.unodc.org
ECAD has been an engaged member of the Vienna NGO Committee Board since 2009.
- Published: 23 November 2011
Social workers, law enforcement officers, young volunteers, specialists promoting social development and healthy life attitudes are visiting Swedish NGOs (received at X-CONS in the picture) and state bodies this week to get a picture of Swedish drug policy development.
ECAD welcomes the initiative of 4 cities in Russian Siberia - Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk, Nyagan´ and Khanti-Mansiysk - to learn from the successful experience in prevention.
- Published: 14 November 2011
For some time ago ECAD introduced cooperation with NGO representatives in a couple of Ukrainian cities. Focus on working with governments and improving relationships between local city administrations and NGOs are on the agenda of ECAD as well as it is a priority for the UN.
Willingness to work with ECAD was openly expressed by several NGOs and Ukrainian partners considered to capitalize on that through getting in touch with their local governments.
Last week, November 10, ECAD ambassadors in Sevastopol, Lugansk, Lviv and Pavlograd met ECAD Head office staff in Kiev to plan common actions together for 2012. As discussed, we are looking forward to a common platform of work in the Ukraine, a new country in ECAD.
"Significant and exciting at the same time", said ECAD Associate Director Åke Setréus, "especially bearing in mind European Football Championship in Kiev, 2012".
- Published: 03 November 2011
October 26-28, ECAD Director Jörgen Svidén was invited to the Khanti Mansiysk region in Siberia, Russia, and the city of Nizhnevartovsk. The visit emanated from the political will of Khanti Mansiysk region to have closer connections to other European cities, to learn about successful prevention practices and to exchange well-proven experience with counterparts in other countries.
When looking for a platform to do this, ECAD was chosen as a bridge to administrative contacts and best practice base for Khanti Mansiysk region. ECAD appreciates this well-thought initiative very much.
The visit contained an informative lecture on ECAD activities, with mayors, practitioners and high officials from different cities of the region present, as well as fruitful and long discussions. During this short visit there was also time for several study visits and an agreement signing between a Mayor of Nizhnevartovsk and the city`s pharmacies, in order to make them aware of the importance of restrictive approach when selling products containing narcotic substances.
ECAD warmly welcomes initiatives like this and looks forward to see representatives of cities of Nizhnevartovsk, Khanti-Mansiysk and others as members of our extensive network soon.
- Published: 01 November 2011
Prevention means a great deal. To young people, their families, the police, practitioners, policy makers, economists, governments and societies prevention is all about consequences and responsibilities each and everyone has for their lives.
To mark the significance of prevention for drug policy strategies, ECAD joins the biggest rehabilitation community in the world, San Patrignano, to celebrate conscious life choices, for a life free from drugs. In this spirit SanPatrignano community annually draws attention to prevention using unconventional ways. Dance, knowledge and shows are used to convey the message of awareness and responsibility, involving schoolchildren and theatrical performances, alltogether at WeFree day.
To match with it, ECAD adds up with its own practical seminars, this October with a lecture on Swedish prevention practices and an investigation on Italian drug policy (download PDF-files below). 60 participants from 16 cities in 10 countries came to Riccione to be at ECAD seminar and WeFree day on October 15-16 this year.
WeFree Forum speakers focused on the issue of medicalization of suffering, treating eating disorders, depression and psychological pain with new kinds of pills and drugs. This approach, identifying a vast part of society as “sick”, was openly criticized by Allen Frances, American Psychiatrist and Chair of the task force that created DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1994.
Beside that, experiences of WeFree Day included exploring a real cocaine laboratory, reconstructed in San Patrignano with a guidance of Columbian “Shared Responsibility” team, and a great deal of international projects to promote integration of young people. Lots of dance projects being a part of WeFree Hero (e.g.. Breakdance Uganda Project, rappers from Sociedad Real in Columbia, Transformers from Portugal, Skateistan from Afghanistan, training over 300 children in skating and literacy) were amazingly professional and meaningful.
Those of you who couldn´t come to SanPatrignano can download seminar materials from here, you are also most welcome to join the event next time!
"Perspectives on prevention. International outlooks" (PDF)
Anders Eriksson, Development Unit, Social Services Administration, City of Stockholm, Sweden
"Italian drug policy: a deep investigation" (PDF)
Fabio Bernabei, Journalist, Associazione Osservatorio Droga, Italy
Here are some pictures:
- Published: 10 October 2011
ECAD is happy to announce the dates for the XIX annual Mayors´ Conference, May 9-12, 2012 in Killarney, Ireland.
A twin-city of Killarney, Staffanstorp of Sweden, will be co-hosting the conference, which is wonderful illustration of city cooperation in common areas of concern.
Please book these dates in your calendar!
- Published: 07 October 2011
The Conference takes place in Killarney and is open to members of the public. ECAD director Jörgen Svidén will make a presentation about the role of municipalities and team work of core actors in the prevention-treatment-rehabilitation chain of work.
Read more about the conference and view the programme here.
- Published: 20 September 2011
On September 15-16 ECAD had a conference in Veliky Novgorod, Russia with the topic ”It works! Drug Prevention from an international perspective”. The Conference was organized in cooperation with the City of Veliky Novgorod and ECAD’s National Representative in Russia, Olga Vasilyeva.
In a couple of hours before the conference was launched, ECAD met Mayor of Veliky Novgorod, Yury Bobryshev, who regarded the topic of the conference actual, also on an international scale. The Mayor stated that drug addiction is a universal issue, where all parties should cooperate constructively to succeed.
Around 70 active participants, prevention researchers, sociologists, municipal officials, teachers, law enforcement officers and politicians from 5 Russian member cities and representatives from 10 interested non-member cities, also city administrative officials from Varna, Bulgaria took part.
Present ECAD cities in Russia expressed a wish of expanding and strengthening ECAD Russian branch. This is based on the need coming from within the municipalities to prioritize prevention work and learn more about international best practice in this field. During 2 days´ conference, the participants discussed prevention strategies in theory and practice.
Two internationally ranged studies were presented, ESPAD and Örebro comparative analysis of drug abuse patterns in Sweden and Russia.
Most of the speakers and discussions were channeled towards new and developing preventative programmes in Russia. These are not many today and are also mostly youth-oriented. Prevention programmes are still not a part of each school´s educational curriculum, only separate preventative lectures are introduced.
A lack of systemic solutions and educational basis within municipal drug policy coordination were regarded as obstacles by Russian prevention researchers. At the same time, many speakers stressed the significance of rehabilitation facilities. There are only 4 state rehabilitation centers officially registered in Russia, and circa 300 rehabilitation NGOs.
There is a need for legislative support on the federal level, introducing prevention as a part of legislative framework would step up municipal preventative initiatives in Russia, agreed many participants.
It was concluded that along with social, economic and media climate changes, a general public reaction and motivation towards altering behaviour should stimulate young minds, stressing positively oriented will and thinking. Similar risk and protection factors and situation development patterns in Veliky Novgorod and Swedish city of Örebro were distinguished in particular.
Protection from group pressure, unorganized leisure time spent in the streets, mass media with its advertisements, sometimes sending an ambivalent message to the young are regarded as challenges and risk factors by teachers and sociologists. On the other hand, spending more time with parents, contract method as a conscious choice of health and sports, organized free time are viewed as positive factors.
ECAD is grateful to all engaged and skillful lecturers, among them Professor Natalya A. Sirota, Moscow Stomatology Institute, Professor Charli Eriksson, Orebro University and psychologist Natalya Antonova, St. Petersburg State University.
A Conference is often a finale of a lot of work carried out, a sort of a peak. A successful conference, on the contrary, is a birth and launch of new ideas, important contacts and projects.
It was obvious that the conference in Veliky Novgorod resulted in all these effects, as there were many fruitful discussions both during the questions times and at the breaks.
ECAD thank Veliky Novgorod and Olga Vasilyeva for making this Conference such an interesting event!