University of Connecticut
Alcohol Research Center
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Ave.
Farmington, CT 06030-2103
The Alcohol Research Center (ARC) at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine was established in 1978 by a research center grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The Center is the first funded by the NIAAA to focus on both the etiology and treatment of alcoholism. Although alcohol research remains the central focus, the ARC now has programs that encompass research on other psychoactive substances, (including heroin, marijuana, cocaine), pathological gambling, and HIV/AIDS. The ARC's research programs have grown to include grant and contract support from several NIH institutes, the World Health Organization, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, private industry, and other sources.
Our program is guided by three basic scientific questions:
Our research on these questions has led to scientific advances in the understanding of the genetics of alcoholism, the characteristics of children at-risk, craving, the symptoms of alcohol/drug dependence, and the effects of alcohol/drugs on brain functioning. Our Center was responsible for the development of the most widely used alcohol screening test in the world, and contributed to the development of both U.S. and international procedures for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence. Our treatment research has led to the first new medication for the treatment of alcoholism in 50 years, and to the development of widely used treatment protocols for alcohol and marijuana dependence. Finally, our research has provided the State of Connecticut with a decade of survey data tracking the alcohol and drug epidemic among high school students, and has provided the basis for planning a network of treatment services to serve the needs of Connecticut's residents.
- What is the nature of addiction?
- Why are some individuals more vulnerable to addiction than others?
- What mechanisms account for the efficacy of various treatments for different types of addicted persons?
The ARC's research findings are published regularly in recognized medical, psychological and addiction journals, and have recently informed the work of the Governor's Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. Importantly, a recent review of the publication "impact" factor of psychiatry research groups during the 1990's by the Institute for Scientific Information (Science Watch, May/June 2000 report) ranked us as #8 internationally in the category of impact factor per publication. This statistic indicates that our publications are widely cited and respected. ARC faculty serve as conference speakers, federal consultants, grant reviewers for the National Institutes of Health, research mentors, journal editors and consultants to the State's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. ARC investigators have published numerous books, monographs and scientific papers, and have contributed to the development of national and state policies for the prevention and treatment of alcoholism and other addictive disorders.
Associate Scientific Directors
Thomas Babor, Lance Bauer, Ronald Kadden, Henry Kranzler, Nancy Petry, Howard Tennen