The 8th World Forum and 27th European Cities Against Drugs Mayors ‘Conference was successfully held on the 13th and 14th of June 2022 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Participants from approximately 20 countries participated in the Forum in person and others joined virtually. The hybrid opportunity allowed members from all regions to attend and listen to the speakers. The Forum was a meeting place for all members, professionals, scholars, local, regional, and national authorities, politicians, and other decision-makers from all corners of the world actively working to prevent drug abuse, increase treatment, and promote recovery and reintegration.
This year’s programme offered tracks on prevention, treatment and recovery, and a special track on advocacy, including advocacy for funding prevention, children´s rights and against legalisation.
The forum was inaugurated by Ghada Waly, the executive director of the UNODC, and phenomenal speakers that shared their work, research, project, and best practices.
The plenary was joined by various speakers virtually and in person. The session highlighted regional networks, the importance and effectiveness of prevention, and professional treatment. The following presentations were held:
- Strategic Vision for Africa
- Importance of Parents, Communities, and Schools in Prevention among Youth
- Children Whose Primary Caregiver Use Drugs
- A Whole-of-Society Approach to Addressing Transnational Organised Crime
- The Importance of Youth Prevention in the Context of Global Commercialised Recreational Pharmacology
- Professional Development
Track on Prevention
In the afternoon, the audience split into two tracks, one on prevention and one on treatment. The prevention track included the following presentations:
- Model of Prevention
- Prevention in the Context of Crises, Displacement, Conflict or Refugee Settings and the Listen First! Programme
- Adult-Child Engagement in Prevention as part of the Children’s Rights Framework
- Positive Primary Prevention in Practice
- Prevention on School-Based Prevention with Focus on Gender
- Colombo Plan’s Work with the Youth, the Youth Programme Modality, and the New Youth Curriculum
- Data-Driven Prevention Programmes for Families
Track on Treatment and Recovery
During the Treatment Track, presentations not only shared research in the field of treatment but also touching personal stories and evidence-based best-practices. The presentations were focusing on the following topics:
- Treatment Facilities and Social Reintegration
- Effectiveness of Treatment Mechanisms
- Gender-Sensitive Treatment
- Jegersberg gård – San Patrignano Model
- Setting Up Lived Experiences Recovery Organisations
- Recovery Services and Civil Society Engagement
- Recovery and Desistance
- Barriers to Recovery and What it Takes to Stay in Recovery in POC Communities
- Recovery Pathways Recovery Project
- Journey of Recovery from Addiction and Crimes
Track on Advocacy
- Advocacy of Prevention and Funding
- Advocating for Children Rights
- Advocacy Against Marijuana Legalisation
- Township Work Against Marijuana
- Alternatives to Incarceration (Panel Discussion)
During the Forum, Members had the opportunity to showcase their work in the exhibition. The exhibition provided insights into various organisations and projects. It also gave a floor for sharing information and networking.
In the afternoon, the Forum had officially come to an end and ECAD members and WFAD members went to their Congresses. During the WFAD Congress, updates on the organisation, its activities, and projects were shared. Members got the chance to provide input to the agenda. A motion on minor changes in the constitution got accepted with a full majority. An official thank you was given to Esbjörn Hornberg for his service as the International President of WFAD during 2018 and 2020.