ECAD Bulgarian member, the city of Blagoevgrad issued the Heart and Speech Against Drugs Award 2015, in the Memory of Veronica Guerin, Irish journalist murdered by a drug dealer.
The Award, ECAD Italian representative, Mr. Fabio Bernabei won last year, was issued on September 29 in the following nominations:

The Electronic Media - went to Brian Maas, investigative journalist, CBS 4, Denver, Colorado, USA, for "Investigative journalism on issues related to the distribution and the use of drugs";

Publications - went to Boyan Dimitrov, journalist at The Monitor, for a series of articles "Former barracks become drug labs" and more;

Documentary Movie - went to Daniela Trencheva, journalist, for the Interview with Mr. Roberto Saviano "No Man`s Land" and more.

Another Award, in the Memory of Giovanni Falcone 2015, and honorary diplomas were given for the outstanding Magistrate and Police work.

Read more: ECAD member Blagoevgrad issues annual awards


APFAD -ECAD Secretary General speaking

At the Asia Pacific Forum Against Drugs on August 27, 2015  ca 200 participants from 18 countries addressed the growing challenge of drug legalisation in the discussions on the upcoming UNGASS 2016.
ECAD Secretary General was one of the key-note speakers presenting his view on how anti-drug advocates could constructively engage in the global drug policy debates.

At the Questions- and Answers- Session with the participants, ECAD Secretary General pointed out that anti-legalisation advocates could capitalise on the UN increasingly asking NGOs for their opinion on the drug policy matters in order to make their voices heard at the UN. "This has previously been an opportunity for the legalisation movement because they have strong and vocal NGOs. What the UN member states are hearing ... is a very pro-legalisation message and this needs to change", said Erik Leijonmarck.
Please find Erik Leijonmarck`s presentation at the APFAD here (PDF)

ASEAN countries met at the end of August in Singapore to underline their committment to a drug-free society.  Ahead of the UNGASS 2016, ASEAN aims to stand firm against substance legalisation and decriminalisation.
Singapore Second Minister for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Masagos Zulkifli said: "We cannot allow these countries to dominate the agenda. This harms the future of our nations, our youth and also runs counter to our common vision of a Drug-Free Asean".

APFAD alltogether

Advocates of legalization of cannabis have gained momentum from the introduction of medical marijuana in 23 US states and the subsequent legalization and commercialization of cannabis for so called recreational use in 4 states. Spearheaded by the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, a new billon dollar industry has emerged which is contributing to a normalization of use through investment in media, political lobbying, support of grass root activism and investments in dubious science on medical marijuana. Tactics which we recognize from the industries behind legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

Are we facing a new Big Marijuana 2.0 which will be just as hard to contain as Big Tobacco have been? 
What does the science have to say on the virtues of medical marijuana and the experiences of medical marijuana in Colorado?  

In cooperation with Uppsala University Forum for research on addiction to medical products and illegal drugs - UFOLD, and RNS, ECAD has invited Dr Christian Thurstone to talk about his experiences as a Child Psychiatrist in Denver and his research studying the effects of cannabis legalization from a grass root perspective.

The presentation can be viewed here: Dr Thurstones presentations starts at 36 minutes. 
ECAD Secretary General comments the presentation at the end. 

ECAD participated at Almedalen annual politican week in Gotland, Sweden between the 29th of June and 3 of July. Together with our partners RNS, ECAD organized 19 events on various aspects of the drug problem. Presentations were given by experts on the following topics:

  • How to improve schools policies to become free from drugs
  • Environmental consequenes of drug production 
  • The International drug policy debate leading up to UNGASS
  • Increasing mortatility related to overdoses from drugs, what is happening? 
  • Measuring consumption of drugs through screening of city waste water
  • Methadone and Buprenorfin treatment
  • Adress youth drinking and get rid of illicit drugs along the way
  • Acquittal of Lexbase what are the consequenes for those who want to leave a criminal career behind them. Lexbase is a site that allows the public to search for previous offenders criminal records.
  • Cannabis and long term psychiatric disorder 
  • Scheduling of new drugs - can the government keep up?
  • Legalization of cannabis in Colorado and import of synthetic drugs from China - implicatation for law enforcement in Sweden. 

Apart from these presentations, a debate on legalization of cannabis took place between UNF (youth non drinking association) and CUF (youth association of the Swedish Centre Party). 

Our secretary general held two presentations on causes and societal consequences of drug trafficking especially focusing on violence, armed conflict, corruption and organized crime in relation to the drug trade. He also participated in a panel on a general discussion on cannabis and spice and on experiences of legalization of cannabis in Colorado, US which was organized in cooperation with Uppsala University.  

Read more: ECAD Participates in annual politician week in Gotland, Sweden

Every Year ECAD organizes an annual study visit to one of the worlds largest drug rehabilitation facilities, San Patrignano in Italy. San Patrignano have inspired the creation of similar centers around the world and have enabled thousands of addicts and their families, both in Italy and abroad, to recover from the devastating effects of addicition through its model of recovery and hope.   

Join us for a breathtaking experience to learn more about recovery from drug addicition but also about prevention. The study visit is open to civil servants and politicians in ECAD-member cities. We will be given a tour around the center by the residents and participate in the 2015 We Free days (a youth workshop gathering over 3000 participants)      

A short preview of what the participants can be expected to meet can be found here down below:

The preliminary program can be found here 

To participate at the visit fill in the booking form down below and return it to the ECAD office

Booking Form  


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.

26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019



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.