At ECAD Mayors´ conference in Varna this May, Mr. Roland Simon, head of Unit for Interventions, best practices and scientific partners at EMCDDA, spoke of  recent reports from UNODC and several other studies that had indicated Russian and Ukrainian opiod problems were above the European average. EU average is around 4 cases per 1000 population aged 15 - 64, in the Ukraine it is 10-13 cases, in Russia - 16 cases per 1000 people. Millions of Russians are estimated to be addicted to illicit drugs. In 2009, 100 000 drug-related deaths were reported.

ECAD observed and took part in Russian drug policy developments for years thanks to many project contacts with drug enforcement, treatment facilities and NGOs, particularly in St.Petersburg, where ECAD representation in Russia was active. While Russian parliamentarians were focusing on improving an obsolete legal framework of the 90-ies in order to adjust drug policy to the actual situation, many private actors worked with drug addicts in the streets. One of the oldest and most successful turned out to be addiction treatment community New Life, close to St. Petersburg.

Read more: Russian Independent Drug Treatment Centre Sets Example Read more: Russian Independent Drug Treatment Centre Sets Example
This NGO was twice included into educational visit programme organized by ECAD Sweden for Swedish drug policy coordinators in order to get to grips with a survival and success kit the NGO invented without any sort of state support.

Last autumn, a fact finding visit was paid to the community by a project team from Institute for Security and Development Policy.
A policy brief paper was published afterwards, also reflecting on Russian drug policy developments
(download as PDF-file). 

This August, a group of drug policy coordinators from Sweden will continue with experience exchange and a study visit to St.Petersburg. ECAD will publish a review of the study visit soon.

TwoGaevle Swedish municipalities, Gävle and Sandviken take part in a pilot project with a focus on improving health of drug addicts.

 SandvikenThe project is rooted in cooperation with Swedish National Institute for Infectious Disease Control aiming at developing a new preventative programme for the health of drug addicts.

 The programme involves vaccination and testing but no syringe exchange activities.

Gävle and Sandviken are situated in the same county in the north eastern part of Sweden and the project will bring in local dependence facilities into the cooperation. Both municipalities are active members of ECAD Sweden.

Read more: World Drug Day
ECAD was one of the NGOs engaged in Vienna NGO Committee to suggest a topic with a focus on best prevention practices at community level for World Drug Day 2011, an international campaign coordinated by UNODC.

We are proud to have been a part of the advisory process for UNODC through Vienna NGO Committee. A closer coolaboration between UNODC and NGOs is a positive message for our member cities that endorse working with NGOs, all this for drug-free communities.

The theme for this year's World Drug Day is "Global action for healthy communities without drugs".

The focus is on reinforcing the role that communities play in addressing the drugs challenge in society. It also aims to highlight the fact that successful approaches in drug use prevention and treatment involve families, schools, and communities to build on protective factors, and it further calls upon communities to take action against drugs.

ECAD encourages its member cities to take this message onboard in your everyday work at local level. More information on prevention work in various communities can be found under "Activities in ECAD member cities".

Read more about World Drug Campaign on UNODC website:

ECAD Russia is proud to announce programme highlights for the coming conference in Veliky Novgorod, Russia on September 15-16, 2011.

Welcome to ECAD international conference in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, on September 15-16, 2011!Read more: Veliky Novgorod Conference

 Veliky Novgorod, city-winner of ECAD Award for 2010 will share its experience on drug prevention from an international perspective. It works!

Download conference programme for your convenience:

pdficon_smallPROGRAMME (English)

pdficon_small PROGRAMME (Russian)

Looking forward to our meeting in Veliky Novgorod!


Drug Prevention as Social Policy: Could Swedish present be Italian future ?

That was the subject taken up by ECAD represenatative in Italy, Dr. Fabio Bernabei (left, picture)  at a conference organised by
AVAP, Voluntary Association Against Drugs Pesaro, an NGO established in the 1994 in Pesaro, Italy.Read more: Drug Prevention as Social Policy for Italy...Read more: Drug Prevention as Social Policy for Italy...

Over 200 participants working with drug prevention and public attitude towards illegal drugs as well as parents and other interested people attended the conference in Pesaro, many travelled from Ascoli Piceno, Urbino, Ancona and Macerata.
Swedish drug policy is perceived as sound and comprehensive, Dr. Fabio Bernabei told ECAD after discussions were over.

AVAP is the most active NGO in the Marche region. AVAP voluntaries get in touch with young drug addicts in order to help them, and their families, to regain a normal, and drug free, lifestyle.

More than 600 boys and girls has entered in one of the therapeutic communities working in close connection with AVAP: San Patrignano, Promozione Umana and Papa Giovanni XXIII.

On the prevention side AVAP arrange meetings, conferences and seminars to disseminate information and to "sensibilize" the public opinion on the “drug problem”.


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

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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)


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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


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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.