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As a co-partner of the Triple R project, ECAD is going to participate in 2 events planned for the next month, in Vienna at the CND, and in Brussels, open for the public.The project partners have been working on the handbooks for a long while and are now ready to present the results.
Our focus in March is on highlighting the publications on successful rehabilitation, social reintegration and justice intervention practices in the EU.

We will start by organizing a side event at the upcoming United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, presenting the Triple R project at Vienna International Center on Monday, March 13, between 1:10-2:00pm.

The event is meant as an introduction to the Triple R Project and will feature the highlights in the 3 thematic areas, presenting the conclusions of the Triple R publications on the subject.


A week after this presentation, the project partners will provide further knowledge in Brussels, illustrating the project results aimed at the successful rehabilitation of drug users.
EU decision makers, NGOs and the public working in the field are welcome to join us on March 20, at the House of Norway in Brussels, Belgium for a half-day seminar.

This event will provide an overview of the rehabilitation and reinsertion models of interventions offered by the Triple R partner organizations.

DATE and TIME: March 20, at 13.30 - 16.00
PLACE: Norway House, Rue Archimede 17, 1000 Brussels.
SEMINAR: Rehabilitation for Recovery and Reinsertion in the EU
Triple R Project on effective rehabilitation models and alternative sentencing

Moderator: Erik Leijonmarck, Secretary General, ECAD

• Welcome coffee
• Setting the scene for the Triple R project,
Elisa Rubini, Deputy Head International Relations, San Patrignano Community, Italy

• How to ensure efficient rehabilitation of drug users: presenting a Manual on drug Rehabilitation
Elisa Rubini, Deputy Head International Relations, San Patrignano Community, Italy

• Movie on Rehabilitation in Practice, 30 min.

• Presenting a Handbook on Justice Intervention and alternatives to incarceration for drug abuse offenders
Alphonse Franssen, Popov GGZ, Care Coordinator, Substance Abuse, East Flanders, and Coordinator/ Liason, Drug Court, Ghent, Belgium

• Presenting a Manual on social reintegration of recovered drug users,
Kristina Blixt, Project Coordinator, Basta Community, Sweden

• Project next steps: Feasibility and Pilot Study in Croatia,
Antonio Molina, Triple Project Evaluator

Please register to participate before March 15, 2017 - send us an email with your details (Name, City, Position, contact details) : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Project initiatives in Vienna and in Brussels

We look forward to meeting in Vienna and Brussels!

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ECAD enters 2017 with a tight schedule while working with the Triple R Project - we are planning launching of the RRR project handbooks in Brussels on Monday, March 20, at 14.00 - 17.00 (to be confirmed).
The seminar at the CoR will disseminate effective rehabilitation models based on the EU Therapeutic Communities`best practices and alternative sentencing.

Project products will come with the rehabilitation of drug users in focus; three manuals will be presented: a Handbook on Justice Intervention, a handbook on reintegration and a manual on how to ensure efficient rehabilitation of drug users.This stage of the RRR project will underscore the importance of stability in European societies, promoting cooperation in the EU, especially in the areas of security, justice and social integration.

Our project partners in Italy, Belgium, Spain and Croatia will showcase their experience in a movie.

Please contact ECAD if you want to participate at this seminar in Brussels and obtain our project products for free: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This year’s ECAD study visit to San Patrignano WeFree days gathered some 35 participants, from Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Sweden.

The WeFree days is yearly event joined by 2,500 young participants from all over Italy and Europe, organized by San Patrignano, Europe’s largest rehabilitation community. Founded in 1978, the community helps young people from all walks of life to overcome histories of drug abuse and addiction. San Patrignano hosts nearly 1,500 young people, and has since its founding assisted over 30,0000 people.
The WeFree days gather experts and practitioners to raise awareness on the drug problem, emphasizing the importance of community service in the rehabilitation process. Read more: ECAD in SanPatrignano in October

The theme of the two main WeFree forums was Drugs and Violence – looking at drugs at the root of criminal systems and violent acts, ranging from terrorism to domestic violence.

In his key-note speech, Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nation’s Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, praised the San Patrignano model and its emphasis on social and community values in the rehabilitation process. ”The issue of drug use among young people is a real one, and the way San Patrignano is tackling it shows that when young people a given an opportunity, they can empower themselves and contribute to their communities,” Alhendawi said.

Among other speakers, we heard a strong presentation from Nicola Gratteri, Public Prosecutor and Magistrate in the frontlines of the war against Calabrian mafia organisation Ndrangheta, and living under police protection since 1989. He described Ndrangheta as the only ”globalized” mafia, operating in all five continents and claimed to have a revenue of McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank combined.

At the other end of the scale was Roberta Bruzzoni, criminologist, expert in forensic science and advisor to Telefono Rosa, (a helpline for victims of abuse against women and children), who through her work sees at first hand the results of often drug-induced domestic violence.

In connection with this year’s visit, the ECAD group also had a seminar on ”New Psychoactive Substances, synthetic opioids and Cannabinoids – A challenge for Europe?” with experts from Sweden (Kristina Hillgren) and Italy (Rita Santacroce). This was done within the framework of the ongoing Spice Alert Project in the Baltic Sea region and as a way of expanding the discussions` geography of the of NPS.

Many thanks to San Patrignano community for their hospitality on receiving us!

ECAD had a very informative conference on the novel psychoactive substances on the Baltic and European scale last week. The conference is the last one of the Baltic Spice Alert Project and it was preceded by a study visit to the Swedish Police and Maria Ungdom health and prevention unit, run by the Stockholm County Council and the City of Stockholm.

Read more: Risky trend: novel substance use ignored in a wider context

The reports presented by the Swedish Public Health Agency and the Swedish Council for information on Alcohol and other drugs underscored important concerns with the problematic forms of NPS use, mixing the new substances with other drugs, including prescription drugs. Harms discussed are related to the certain risk groups of users.

A few speakers mentioned the differences in defining NPS-related fatalities. This factor often let NPS merge with other narcotic substances in drug-related fatalities in the statistical picture or not to be taken into account at all. To sum the discusstion we had, there is a general risk to lose the novel psychoactive substances in a wider drug context. This is a practical issue that leaves room for improvement in the international measurement data for drug fatalities.

Synthetic cannabinoids represent the biggest group of these substances. From a health perspective, many synthetic cannabinoids are considerably more toxic, upsetting the drug misuse statistics of the Baltic region with mass poisonings and even fatalities in the last couple of years.
The presentation of Latvian and Estonian colleagues below have a good overview of the local problematic issues. It seems the cannabinoids have not yet lost their actuality among the Baltic youth and synthetic opioids (like Tramadol) and fentanyl-varieties are catching up in popularity, saturating the already saturated drug market in the Baltic Sea region. Some of these varieties are extremely potent (carfentanyl) and are causing serious trouble in other European countries too. For example, carfentanyl entered the UK market some time ago. In general, the NPS use have overgrown cocaine use in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The number of users is growing steadily also in the UK.

When reflecting on the high numbers of drug-related deaths in Sweden, the conference concluded that one could not accurately measure drug-related fatalities and be sure one had the correct comparable numbers even within one geographical area.


Swedish Public Health Agency`s perspective and work related to the NPS (PDF)
Sara Wall, Analyst, Unit for Drug Prevention, Public  Health Agency of Sweden

Parties to die for: NPS-related health risks among youth (PDF)
Rita Santacroce, MD, Psychiatrist and researcher, PhD student at the Department of Neuroscience, University “G. d´Annunzio”, Chieti, Italy 

Synthetic opioids and NPS (PDF)
Håkan Leifman, Director, CAN, Swedish Council for information on Alcohol and other drugs

City of Stockholm prevention work—general overview (PDF)
Therese Holmkvist, Project Manager, Administration of Social Affairs, City of Stockholm

The world of NPS and overdose (PDF)
John Corkery, BA Hons, MSs, MPhil, Drug Epidemiologist & Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy Practice, Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Drug-related deaths and synthetic opioids and cannabinoids as seen by the Stockholm Police (PDF)
Lennart Karlsson, Superintendent, Stockholm Regional Police, Sweden

NPS in Latvia— challenges and responses : the Police perspective (PDF)
Angelina Gribova, Senior Inspector, Criminal Police, Latvia

NPS and high numbers of use among Estonian youth (PDF)
Anna Markina, researcher,
University of Tartu, Estonia

Estonian Police work with new synthetic substances (PDF)
Margo Kivila, leading Investigator, Drug and Organized Crime Division, Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Synthetic opioids and Swedish Substance Maintenance Programme (LARO) (PDF)
Kerstin Käll, Chief Physician, leading LARO specialist in Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden

OBS: UPDATED PROGRAMME (as of 31 October)!

On November 3, Thursday, ECAD invites to discuss a common concern for many chemists, social workers, researchers, police officers, politicians and youth coordinators - new synthetic substances - at the Stockholm City Hall, Stora Kollegiesalen, between 09.00 and 16.00.

Conference title - "Synthetic opioids and cannabinoids - a challenge for the region" - has a focus on the Baltic sea geography, however, we have also invited highly qualified researchers from Italy and the UK, not to mention Swedish and Estonian specialists of course.


The common denominator is a growing number of drug-related deaths, articulated by the EMCDDA in its two latest reports, difficulties to identify the new substances when making autopsies, challenges in the prevention work with the young and a couple of extra sensitive aspects when working with the opioids.

The conference is organized by ECAD and is a part of the Baltic Spice Alert Project financed by the Swedish Institute. The project started addressing "Spices" as the common contemporary challenge causing fatalities in Latvia and Sweden in 2014. As the project discussions evolved, we added synthetic opioids as a relevant issue for the region at the moment.

Come and join our discussions on this actual and important topic!

To enter the City Hall you need to register for the conference. Please fill in the Booking form here (Word)  and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: ECAD to organize synthetic substance conference in Stockholm
The Golden Hall, City Hall, Stockholm



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.

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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)

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 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.