For immediate release: May 11, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas - The Center for Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston will launch a new program beginning Tuesday, May 15, to educate Galveston ISD students about addiction as a brain disease.

Participating in the program are over 2,000 students in GISD, including eighth graders at Austin, Central and Weiss middle schools, 700 freshmen at Ball High School and all students at the alternative school.

The CAR plans to show a 30-minute adolescent segment of the HBO documentary "Addiction" to the students, which will be followed by a panel discussion with area addiction counselors and research scientists. The HBO documentary seeks to help students understand addiction as a chronic yet treatable brain disease and spotlights promising scientific advancements. It also explores many elements of drug and alcohol addiction through the eyes of those who are addicted and those of the scientific experts working to better understand and treat the disease.

"Our initial goal of this program is to raise awareness about addiction as a brain disease and to engage the students in a discussion about how drugs can impact their developing adolescent brains," said Eliza K. Quigley, the center's director of operations and planning. In August, center staff hope to take this program further by initiating a district-wide training with all GISD teachers and administrators about drug education and service referrals in the community.

This new program partners the Center for Addiction Research, UTMB graduate students, the Bay Area Council on Drugs & Alcohol, Phoenix House, ADA House, the Teen Health Clinic, Family Service Center and the Gulf Coast Center Recovery Program. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, components of the National Institutes of Health, collaborated with HBO to create the documentary. Copies of the documentary have been made available by BACODA at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston.

The mission of the center is to promote, stimulate and support discovery and research in addiction to find ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144