Established in 1978, the Alcohol Research Center (ARC) at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine remains the longest-funded center both at UConn and at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a branch of the National Institutes of Health. Funding to the ARC was recently renewed through 2017. 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. Our program is guided by three basic scientific questions: 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?