Galveston County Daily News, March 13, 2007 By Kathryn Cunningham and Eliza Quigley Why does one person use drugs and become addicted while another doesn't? Why do addicts have trouble stopping drug use and staying clean and sober? The answers to these questions are lodged in the brain. The brain sets the stage for an individual's sensitivity to the euphoric first effects of an abused drug and then it adapts with repeated exposure to the drug. The chronic, relapsing nature of addiction is caused by the brain changes that occur during this disease process. The challenge of science and medicine - and a focus for the Center for Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - is to identify these brain changes and use this information to create treatment options to enhance recovery and absence. While addiction research soars ahead, public awareness of this disease remains mired in misperceptions of the past century. The facts are that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain and that treatment can overcome it. Just as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are chronic, relapsing disorders with multiple treatment options, so too is substance abuse and addiction.