- Category: News
ECAD organized a side event on Cannabis legalization along with partners. The key message of the event was to highlight the birth of a new legal and commercialized cannabis industry that targets youngsters, fights regulation and promotes drug use to gain consumers in the US and beyond. The negative health effects for developing countries mirrors those from tobacco and alcohol industries aggressively seeking new markets. There is also a clear breach of international obligations since the conventions require signatories to restrict use of narcotic drugs to medical and scientific purposes only. Denying cannabis legalization is not to deny that there are no room for improvement of global drug policy however. ECAD secretary general concluded the side event with his view on how to best progress international drug control into the 21th century.
A statement was read to the CND delegates by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President Kevin Sabet which can be read here.
The World Health Organization recently published a comprehensive report on non-medical use of cannabis which is a must read for anyone interested in the subject
The speech by ECAD Secretary General can be read down below
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is now more important than ever to maintain and expand upon drug control. But that can be done in smart way. There are as many ways to control drugs as there are member states in the UN but what all of them (should) have in common is the recognition that use of illicit drugs should be limited to medical and scientific purposes only. The current framework of drug control allow states flexibility to adjust their responses according to local specifies.
What must be pointed out however is that we have seen the effects of commercialization and non-medical drug use before drug control both in present times, in Colorado and before. The level of opiate consumption in the 19th century is unprecedented by today’s levels. In fact for all other drugs except cannabis the prevalence is not even one per cent. The drug control system is in this regards highly successful in containing the world drug problem.
Challenges to the international community blamed on drug control can and should be addressed within the current drug control system:
- Criminal Justice Reforms in many countries have enabled alternative and smarter sanctions for criminal offenders with underlying substance abuse. Short term (harm reduction) measures to improve the health of those with substance abuse can be efficient but should not replace a strong commitment to recovery from addition.
- Prevention of initiation of drug use should be a primary goal of sound drug policy. Environmental prevention which aims to create sound and drug –free communities that prevent – don’t promote drug use.
- For countries plagued by drug traffickers and organized crime there is no shortcut. Institutions need to be strengthened, rule of law implemented, corruption addressed and development and/or alternative development facilitated.
All these actions are perfectly possible to take within the current framework of drug control. What is not in conformity with the spirit of the conventions is the simplistic call for (re)legalization of drugs, in this case Cannabis, which constitutes a regression (not progression) towards international cooperation and public health of mankind.
Let us expand upon and not discard the current regulatory system. Only thus can drug control be advanced in the 21th century.
Erik Leijonmarck, Secretary General ECAD
- Category: News
WFAD president Sven Olof Carlsson held a speech titled Drug policies should prevent the initiation of drugs use.
The forum also adopted a statement calling for an end to non-medical use of cannabis.
Photo by Slim Lidén
- Category: News
Rehabilitation and Educational Centre Jegersberg i Kristiansand, Norway, slings its doors open for ECAD study visit early this summer.
It is a wonderful opportunity for ECAD members to visit a Rehabilitation centre that ECAD has been observing the formation of from the very beginning. Jegersberg has been influenced by San Patrignano Recovery community methodology but the Centre is very much adapted to the Norwegian style of life and culture.
Save 1st and 2nd of June in your calendar and join us at Jegersberg!
Download Invitation to visit Jegersberg (PDF) here
- Category: News
Even if Latvian officials announce the “Spice-case” closed for the time being, the media and NGOs (www.StopDrugs.lv) still confirm the problem exists today. ECAD conclusion is that synthetic mixes need continuous monitoring in the neighbouring countries (Sweden, Norway) as it has become a legislative challenge for the drug policies in the countries of the region. Also Swedish Spice market needs to be examined for that purpose, and the project partners look forward to study visits and a conference in Stockholm to discover it this fall.
Conference Presentation materials:
"Understanding the "spice" phenomenon" (UPDATED!) Rita Jorge, Scienttific Analyst, EMCDDA, Action on New Drugs Sector, Supply reduction and new drugs unit
"Prevention in Riga, how does it work?" Vivita Kikule, Head of public Health Promotion and Prevention Unit, Riga City Council, Welfare Department
"An effective prevention: Stockholm city perspective and experience" Anders Eriksson, Prevention Specialist, Prevention Centre Stockholm, Sweden
"Space up your life; what happened in Riga in 2013-2015" Inga Dreimane, Prevention Specialist, Head of Structural Unit "Pardaugava"
"What can parents do to prevent drug and alcohol debuts?" Jörgen Larsson, Idependent Prevention Expert
- Category: News
ECAD participates in a 2-year long EU project (TRIPLE R) on the exchange of the best practice in the field of recovery between EU member states. The project aims at reducing recidivism and crime in regard to drug addiction and spreading the cost effective and productive models on drug Rehabilitation, social Reintegration and Reinsertion of the drug addicts.
The project is run by San Patrignano Community, world`s largest therapeutic community for full recovery, which has been a partner for ECAD for many years.
4 well-known international rehabilitation communities are involved in the project and this winter and spring all project partners will participate in 3 study visits and 2 workshops, implying mutual learning and best practice exchange. The project has a pilot phase to be implemented later in Croatia, involving 3 different NGOs helping drug addicts.
The first study visit was made to the city of Ghent in Belgium on February 1-4, 2016, in order to investigate a unique practice of drug court`s in action. The visit was hosted by a Belgian NGO Popov GGZ, a consultation platform on mental health, including addiction.
We were welcome in Ghent City Hall and met the city Drug Policy Coordinator, Mr Filip De Sager, Provincial Drug Policy Coordinator, Mr. Bert Mostien and the heart of the Ghent Drug Court system, its liaison coordinator Mr. Alphonse Franssen (the three gentelmen pictured closer below from left to right).
The unique concept of Ghent Drug Court system is allowing a treatment to take place before any sentence or a verdict has been stated and a crime registered. The attitude of a judge at a Drug Court is thus strict but highly motivating, approving of a personal achievement and not moralizing about an addict. Also, crimes involving the use of alcohol are a matter of drug courts.
East Flanders uses an Integrated Treatment System, which became an evolution within the drug policy since 1998. The ITS consists of a complete set of care and treatment programmes for illicit drug users, guaranteeing customized care and its continuity, organized in a network. The therapeutic ideologies within the treatment programmes had to give way for solving concrete problems of the clients, which led to respect, shared vision and investigation of services available to make the treatment effective.
The city of Ghent applies a bottom-up approach to the drug policy, when the work priorities are chosen by the stakeholders of the local Drug Policy Steering Committee. The Committee consists of the police representatives, drug prevention sector of the city, NGO Popov GGZ, field workers, a mayor of Ghent and 3 deputies.
(Ghent City Hall)
Flemish Ministry of Health set Recovery as a main strategy, but that was not about sobriety or control. Recovery in Belgium is about establishing a fulfilling, meaningful life. The point of case management is also keeping people in treatment, helping them indirectly to stay sober and to sustain recovery.
MAYORS` CONFERENCE 2017
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
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)
CONFERENCE PROGRAMME (PDF)
FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT (PDF)
Conference Booking Form
Picture: @Rokas Tenys
Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!