International conference on Recovery, Rehabilitation and social Reinsertion will be held next week, November 15-16, in Zagreb, Croatia.
Triple R Project partners from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Croatia will be sharing expertise on addiction and discussing rehabilitation, recovery, justice interventions and alternatives to incarceration. The aim of the project final stage i Croatia is fostering treatment instead of punishment and promoting social reintegration for recovered drug addicts.

Conference Programme

You can still register and send this Booking form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. untill Friday, November 10, by 15.00 CET.
Logos for Triple R

The Triple R project is a 2-year long European project based on the exchange of the best practices in the field of recovery between EU member states that took place in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The Belgian Drug Courts Popov GGZ, the Italian San Patrignano and CeIS Rome, Dianova Spain, Basta and ECAD have been actively engaged in the project.

The second phase of the project Triple took place in Croatia implementing a research study on current needs of treatment services, therapeutic communities, social reinsertion programs, alternative sentencing interventions and piloting the Triple R guidelines with the involvement of Croatian partners NGO Stjiena, NGO Udruga San Patrignano and NGO Institute Pula and local stakeholders.

Blagoevgrad 2016

These early November days ECAD Secretary General attends the city of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, one of the most active ECAD cities in the Balkans.

Annual Award ceremonies in memory of Giovanni Falcone and Veronica Guerin were founded by the Municipality of Blagoevgrad with the assistance of the Italian Embassy in Bulgaria and a personal support of Professor Maria Falcone and The Giovanni and Francesca Falcone Foundation, Palermo.
The main goal of this celebration is to support the efforts of magistrates and police officers, and also journalists, who risk their lives to serve and protect our society and bring their profession to a higher level, to shed light on, reduce and eradicate the criminal activities, which are prolific on a global scale.
ECAD prize from Blagoevgrad cut

The AWARD Ceremony 2017 was held on November 1st, in memory of Giovanni Falcone - Cowards die every day, the brave – only once! - which honours magistrates and police officers who risk their lives on a daily basis to serve and protect the citizens.

The 11th AWARD Ceremony of the contest IN MEMORY OF VERONICA GUERIN - Heart and speech against drugs, 2017 is held today, November 2, and ECAD is about to receive this award.

Here is the speech of ECAD Secretary General made at the Award Ceremony in Blagoevgrad (PDF)

The awards will be presented by the Ambassador of Ireland His Excellency Michael Forbes and Dr. Atanas Kambitov, Mayor of Municipality of Blagoevgrad.

One of the biggest recovery communities in the world, San Patrignano, opened its doors last week to ECAD international guests at the WeFree days, October 10-11.

Read more: Italian prevention days in SanPatrignano

Our group of 20 persons participated in the high level political Forum organized by the Community guests. This is also an opportunity for parents, schools and those affected by addiction to set the question on national and international agenda, involving foreign speakers and acting politicians, this time - Valeria Fedeli, Italian Minister of Education, University and Research, Gabriele Toccafondi, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, University Professors, School rectors, Italian movements of parents and international speakers, e.g. Julie Schauer, founder to Parents Opposed to Pot.

High-level political discussion was vital for ECAD group for accumulating international experience of dealing with addiction recovery, on local and national levels, as a parent and as a key figure in a local community. The topic of the Forum this year was Educating by leaving a positive sign, when teachers and parents together brought up the issue of addiction among the teenagers.
A dramatic change at shools was introduced at place with the involvement of the Minister of Education, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on prevention education at schools, thereby the educational system strives to make students aware of the implications of the substance use. For the first time in Italy, the need of support to schools provided by the national government was put in print in this document, placing prevention issue in the first place, said Valeria Fedeli, Italian Minister of Education.

Italian society is under a process of altering its attitude to the link between schools and families, updating its stance on gender issues in the cultural context, where girls are more vulnerable, having lower self-esteem and a tendency to use new drugs (synthetic cathinones, Ketamine, etc.). Mrs Roberta Potente from the Department of Epidemiology at the Italian CNR, informed that 40% of 15-19 year olds have tried gambling, allowed from the age of 18 onwards. Annual studies among school students were introduced and in 6 shools a pilot project informing on pathological gambling is running.

Every year the Community of San Patrignano gathers around 15 000 people, who become a part of the WeFree project. Apart from the High level forum, ECAD group spent two days visiting workshops, prefessional and training facilities, theatrical shows and had a private session with questions and answers to the Community guests and recovery specialists. The focus of this dialogue was on overcoming drug addiction in various cultural contexts, sharing experiences and becoming role models for the young people.

ECAD is grateful to SanPatrignano for exceptional hospitality, trust and a lot of insights in the topic, we are looking forward to visit the Community next year!

Read more: Italian prevention days in SanPatrignanoRead more: Italian prevention days in SanPatrignano
Read more: Italian prevention days in SanPatrignano
Read more: Italian prevention days in SanPatrignano

Next week ECAD organizes annual study visit to San Patrignano Recovery Community to experience and learn from the WeFree days, October 10-11

Read more: Major events in October and November 2017Picture: @ courtesy of San Patrignano Community

"WeFree Days" concept is a set of drug use prevention initiatives, focused on the "peer to peer" education. It also involves the members of the SanPatrignano community, who conceived and implemented the event and will represent the annual opening of the activity.
October 10th and 11th are the two days dedicated to the examination of issues in relation to drug addiction and common problems among the youth. The goal is to stimulate a constructive dialogue that proposes an alternative to dealing superficially with the contemporary drug issues.

A group of representatives for Swedish, Bulgarian and Maltese cities, as well as other international NGOs will join the ECAD group this year.

November 15-16 is the final Triple R project conference in Zagreb, Croatia.Logos for Triple R

The Triple R project is a 2-year long European project based on the exchange of the best practices in the field of recovery between EU member states that took place in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

The second phase of the project Triple took place in Croatia, implementing a research study on current needs of treatment services, therapeutic communities, social reinsertion programs, alternative sentencing interventions and piloting the Triple R guidelines with the involvement of Croatian partners.
You will find the Triple R project publications in our website top meny.

The Conference programme features international and Croatian high level speakers presenting the projects findings and exploring further the future cooperation in the field of drug treatment and recovery-oriented practices.

Conference is free of charge. Kindly fill in the Registration form and email it back to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please let us know if you intend to participate, and warm welcome!

This week ECAD network and around 20 Swedish NGOs hold a national Fair "Sweden Against Drugs" - Sverige mot Narkotika, on September 20-21. The Fair has become an annual event recently due to political and public interest in drug prevention and treatment.
HMDrottning Silvia HM Queen Silvia Foto Rosie Alm copy
 Eakommun logo 2015 svart stående
Her Majesty Queen Silvia will launch the conference Sverige mot Narkotika on Wednesday, September 20, hosted by the City of Eskilstuna this time. 
Major political figures, heads for Swedish customs and police, Icelandic Ambassador in Sweden, County Governor of Sörmland and international guests will be among the 300 participants.

H.M. Queen Silvia
Foto: Rosie Alm,

The conference programme has a variety of subjects - international trends in drug policy, American opioid epidemics and cannabis industry, recovery movement, drugs and crime prevention, effective institutional cooperation for quick and efficient treatment of substance addiction.

 Prominent American Professor Bertha K. Madras, Harvard Medical School, will be lecturing on the American opioid epidemics and will meet a number of the key political figures in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm today, the day before the Conference kicks off.

Download the Conference Programme in Swedish (PDF)



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.

28th Mayor's Conference - Invitation - May 11th and 12th, 2023 - Malta
On May 11th and 12th, the 28th ECADs Mayor's Conference will take place at Dolmen Hotel in Qwara, Malta. We warmly invite you to join us and expand your knowledge on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. The conference will highlight best practices and research in the field. It will offer the opportunity to network with other ECAD members, representatives from local authorities, and non-governmental organisations. Registration is free for the first person attending from your organisation!

Additionally, the conference allows for a unique experience as it includes a full day of field visits on May 12th. All participants are invited to Komunita’ Santa Marija, which will be sharing information on their services, and their experiences, and will engage in discussions.

The Agenda has now been published! The deadline to register is April 22nd

Day 1

11/05/2023 | 09:00 – 17:30 | The Oracle Conference Centre - Dolmen Hotel Qawra, St. Paul's Bay
08:30hrs – 09:00hrs| Registrations
09:00hrs – 09:05hrs| Welcome Address by the President of Local Councils’ Association - Mr Mario Fava
09:05hrs – 09:15hrs| Welcome Address by ECADs Chairman of the Board from Kristiansand, Norway - Mr Viggo Lütcherath
09:15hrs – 09:20hrs| Welcome Address by the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government - Hon. Alison Zerafa Civelli
09:20hrs – 09:40hrs| Inspirational speech – “Push yourself to do it because no one else is going to do it for you” by the President Northern Regional Council & LCA Executive Member - Mr. Clifford Galea Vella Maslennikov
09:40hrs – 10:30hrs| Panel Discussion and Presentation – Discussing the Local Context

The prevention team within Sedqa would like to present the following studies.

Study 1: The Role of a Workplace Policy in Addressing Employees’ Substance Misuse Difficulties.
Aim: To explore the probability of an employee seeking support for a substance misuse difficulty elicited by the workplace ethic fostered by management. Through this paper, we seek to determine a possible correlation between the implementation of a substance misuse policy at the workplace, and employees’ probability to seek guidance and support from their employers for a substance misuse-related difficulty.
Study 2: A Substance Misuse Policy in the Workplace: Senior Leadership Teams’ Attitudes
Aim: To explore how senior leadership teams’ (SLTs) attitudes inform the drafting of a substance misuse policy and how those attitudes inform job retention procedures in the case of an employee disclosing a substance misuse difficulty. Uncovering SLTs’ attitudes toward addiction is essential to understand how these beliefs inform workplace policy aims and actions on substance misuse.

Keynote speakers representing Sedqa Prevention team:

Mr Jareth Grima – Social Worker
Ms Sheryl Spiteri – Prevention Team
Ms Stephanie Mizzi Cascun – Prevention Professional.

10:30hrs – 11:00hrs| Coffee Break

11:00hrs – 11:45hrs| Mr Jon Sigfússon Planet Youth – Evidence-based drug prevention.
Mr Sigfússon is the international programme director for the evidence-based Planet Youth Guidance primary community-based health promotion intervention. Over the course of 20 years, Mr Sigfússon directed the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA).

11:45hrs – 12:30hrs| Mr Matej Košir - Strategies and tactics to prevent cannabis legalisation in Slovenia - The power of prevention science and advocacy.

Mr Matej Košir has been working in prevention and advocacy in the field of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for around 25 years. Since 2006, he has been involved in more than 30 European projects in the fields of health, justice, education, youth and research as a project or work package leader.

12:00hrs – 14:00hrs| Seated Buffet Lunch

14:00hrs – 14:45hrs| Profs. Christian Thurstone, MD - The impact of legalisation in Colorado, USA – challenges faced by [local] authorities and communities.
Profs. Thurstone is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado and a child psychiatrist who specialises in addiction treatment. He published some of the first papers on the potential effects of marijuana legalisation on youth and has devoted his professional life to preventing and treating adolescent substance misuse.

14:45hrs - 15:30hrs| Ms Mulka Nisic - Recovery Cities - Creating sustainable connections and networks in cities.
Ms Mulka Nisic has been involved as a Regional Project Manager and International Relations Officer at the NGO Celebrate Recovery, and Secretary General of the Recovered Users Network-RUN.

15:30hrs - 16:00hrs| Conclusive Remarks
16:00hrs – 17:30hrs| ECAD Plenary for ECAD Members only
19:30hrs – 23:00hrs| Welcome Dinner at The Pavilion Suite, Westin Dragonara St Julian’s - Separate Registration is required in the application form.

Day 2
12/05/2023 | 09:15 – 19:00
09:15hrs – 09:30hrs| Transport leaves from Dolmen Hotel & Salini Resort to Komunita Santa Marija
09:30hrs – 09:45hrs| Registration and Welcome Coffee
09:45hrs – 10:15hrs| Introduction to the services offered by Komunita’ Santa Marija.
10:15hrs – 11:00hrs| Sharing of good practices and discussion
11:00hrs – 11:30hrs| Tour around Komunita’ Sanata Marija premises
11:30hrs – 12:00hrs| Transport to Ħagar Qim in Qrendi
12:00hrs – 13:15hrs| Ħagar Qim Visit
13:15hrs – 13:30hrs| Transport to Xgħajra
13:30hrs – 16:00hrs| Lunch (you will have time for a short stroll by the seaside)
16:00hrs – 18:00hrs| Cultural Visit in Mdina – Visiting the National Museum of National History
18:00hrs – 19:30hrs| Visiting Dingli Cliffs
19:30hrs - 15:30hrs| Transport to Salini Resort and Dolmen Hotel

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27th Mayors Conference - Gothenburg and online 2022

The 27th Mayors' Conference and 8th World Forum took place in Gothenburg and online 13-14th June 2022.

The World Forum and Mayor’s Conference is a meeting place for people from all continents who are working to prevent drug abuse, ensure evidence-based and gender-sensitive practices, increase access to treatment, and to promote recovery and reintegration services. This global forum is one of its kind where NGOs, self-help groups, treatment centres, scholars, local, regional, and national authorities, politicians and other decision-makers, and others from around the world will meet to share evidence and best practice experiences. This year’s World Forum will include three main tracks: Prevention, Treatment/Recovery, and Advocacy, which will stretch over 1,5 days followed by the WFAD Congress and ECAD Mayors plenary session. 

We are proud to announce that the Forum was inaugurated by UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and will be joined by experts from around the world.

Read more on the website: and access the full report here
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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


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.