AUSTIN, Texas - "What starts here changes the world." It's the motto the University of Texas at Austin takes pride in. Researchers on the Forty Acres are hoping to do just that by seeking new and improved treatments for alcohol addiction.
''We know that there is a remodeling of the brain, but we don't understand how that happens. More importantly, we don't understand how to correct that," said Adron Harris, a neuroscience professor.
Thanks to a multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health, scientists hope to find those answers.
"The scientific goal is better understanding of alcoholism and how it changes the brain, but the end goal is improved treatment," said Harris.
UT Austin is part of an international research coalition working to better treat alcoholism. Researchers say the city is an appropriate setting to conduct many of its projects.
"Wherever you are in the country, you see alcohol problems, but Austin really does have a lot of alcohol use and a lot of alcohol problems," said Harris.
Scientists will study the genetic aspect of alcoholism, but since the disease is multi-faceted, it doesn't always end with medical treatment.
"It also takes that human element because you take the addiction away, you take the substance away, but there still may be some of the underlying issues that didn't get cleared up before," said Sierra Castedo, director for the UT Center for Students in Recovery.
This is why additional treatment options will make a big difference.
"The more effective treatment methods are out there, the more students and people all over, of all age groups, have a chance to actually recover," said Castedo.