Drug-secure Russian cities: from national security to people’s security

By Lana Willebrand, journalist and seminar participant

In the end of November, the Regional office of ECAD conducted a seminar on drug-secure communities. The seminar was advertised through the ECAD Russia home page www.ecad.ru and was aimed at the Russian-speaking countries. ECAD regional office in Russia, which works in tight collaboration with the St. Petersburg State University has a long tradition of, and specializes in, research and practice seminars. ECAD members, invited experts  (Russian and foreign) and all interested gather at least once a year at this university to discuss different aspects of anti-drug policies. 400x300_zazulin_webb

 This year, the focus was on the concept of people’s security in regard to illicit drugs misuse and drug-related criminality. The point of departure for the discussion was an understanding that the anti-drug activities of the authorities have to turn towards the needs of the citizens to feel protected from the narcothreats which directly endanger their lives and health.

 Namely, the threats which are posed by mercenary and violent crimes committed by the drug abusers whom the Russian state is not able to compel to rehabilitation; and by involvement of children into drug misuse at their schools or recreational places.

This seminar is a continuation of a series of educational activities which were conducted on a regular basis while ECAD ran in cooperation with the St. Petersburg State University a master program for drug control managers (drug coordinators). This master program has as its scientific basis a new discipline of narcoconflictology.

 ‘Conflict’ is a key-concept for analysis of drug policies and drug reality. Drug conflicts are being distinguished and recognized on all levels, from local to global; conflict shows how illicit drugs find their way into population; it explains the importance of drug prevention and prevention of drug-related crimes on the streets of our cities.

The academic clang to the conflict approach which could be heard here is not intended to scare away visitors of the ECAD homesite; on the contrary, it aims to show that there is a clear, comprehensive and easy-to-grasp theory behind a successful drug policy which is  - yes! - narcoconflictology.
Development of this discipline and its transformation from the master program linked to one university to internet-based courses available for all ECAD members regardless of their location is led by Georgy Zazulin (picture), PhD in law, ECAD Director in Russia, and his network. 

ECAD is grateful to all who put their time, energy and money into this educational and vital project, above all – the St. Petersburg State University in general and the department of conflictology in particular, and the Swedish Carnegie Institute.