The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that the gift is "in memory of my parents whom I lost to alcoholism and addiction and on behalf of other family members and friends who have suffered, directly or indirectly, from the devastating consequences of this disease. It is my hope that by generating greater public awareness and additional financial support for biomedical and clinical research, future generations of families will be spared from the devastating affects of this disease."
"We are very grateful for this extraordinary donation, " said TSRI President Richard A. Lerner, M.D. "Scripps is in a unique position to fulfill the donor's wish that biomedical research on alcoholism and addiction be translated into testing treatments to curb addiction and relapse."
In leading the center George F. Koob, Ph.D., will collaborate with Barbara Mason, Ph.D., both professors in the Department of Neuropharmacology. Koob directs the Division of Psychopharmacology and Mason directs the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.
A New Approach to Treating Alcoholism
"Alcoholism is a disease of the spirit, of behavior, and also of the brain," said Mason, who adds that the brain is often overlooked in treatment.
The traditional mode of treatment involves group therapy and other forms of psychological counseling that aim to empower the spirit and address the destructive behaviors associated with alcoholism. These are important approaches, however, the center will seek to complement them through the development of new medications to treat alcoholism--particularly drugs to help prevent relapse.