The island of Iceland initiated a working plan titled Drug-Free Iceland in 1998-2003. At that time the plan was considered unrealistic and out of touch with modern science according to some experts. Today hecklers are silenced by the astonishing results of more than 20 years of decreasing figures of drinking, smoking and drug use among Icelandic youth. New norms of non-use have been established. 

What happened and can it be repeated elsewhere?

Read more: Drug Free Islands - Utopia or Reality?

On friday the 23th of February, ECAD was invited to another Island, Gotland in middle of the Baltic Sea to speak about how that island can be made drug free. Jon Sigfusson,
director of Icelandic Center for Social and Research Analysis gave a presentation to local governments and civil society organisations on how continous and evidence based primary prevention have revolutionized the conditions for children growing up on Iceland.

The model is being exported to othe European countries since 2006 and has in 2017 gained worldwide attention through BBC documentary and articles in more than 40 newspapers. ECAD cities and municipalitites can do many things to improve the way the organize their preventative work.

Two opportunities to do so are in May 14-15 at ECADs 25th Mayors Forum in Gothenburg and at a workshop on methodology in Reykjavik in May 30-31.

Contact ecad at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more or visit

ECAD would like to point to an interesting workshop on evidence based primary prevention.


Planet Youth Workshop, Reykjavik: May 30-31st 2018, Optional Study Visits: 1st of June

Location: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, Reykjavik, Iceland
Dates: May 30th and 31st, 2018
Times: 09:00 - 16:00 both days
Optional Study Visits: 1st of June 12:00 to 16:00
Light lunches included both days + coffee and snacks during breaks
Fee: €480 per person

The workshop will provide an overview of the Icelandic Model of Substance Use Prevention. Emphasis will be laid on both the scientific pillars underlying the model, as well as practical applications. 

The workshop fee does not include airfare or accommodation

For more information visit Planet Youth website

Read more: 25th Mayors Forum Website Open

What can cities do to lighten the burden of drug addiction on the affected individuals, their families and communities?

One of the coming ECAD Mayors` Conference segments will address this issue. There is a need to provide a forum for developing a vision what a recovery city will look like. This implies bringing together the main stakeholders (e.g. city council officials, public and private organisations, civil society, etc.) and creating a room for cooperation.
Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium) and the City of Gothenburg have started to outline how a recovery city would look like in practice.

In order to find out more and to obtain all the practical information you can now visit a new webpage here.

ECAD and World Federation Against Drugs invite you to the 25th Mayors` Conference and the 6th World Forum Against Drugs on May 14-15, 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Read more: 25th Mayors` Conference and 6th World Forum Against Drugs
Picture: Alsborgsbron   @ Klas Eriksson

This joint conference gathers the world`s leading experts in preventing drug use, treating and rehabilitationg drug abuse addiction.
We will go in depth on the best practices for prevenion and explore the concept of full recovery from addiction, and also the links between drug trade and crime, insecurity and terrorism.

Download the First Announcement with Programme Highlights (PDF)

ECAD has been invited to Moscow on dec 3-5 to speak at the conference Parliamentarians Against Drugs alongside other NGO´s working with preventing drug use and treating drug addiction.

UNODC director Yuri Fedotov, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and minister of health Veronika Skvortsova as well as various UN bodies are presenting their views to reaffirm support for the international drug control system and how to address the world drug problem.

ECAD Secretary General will speak on evidence based primary prevention and how local and regional governments can contribute to drug demand reduction.

Read more: ECAD Speaking at Russian State Duma - Parliamentarians Against Drugs


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.


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.