This article summarizes the proceedings of a symposium held at the conference on "Alcoholism and Stress: A Framework for Future Treatment Strategies" in Volterra, Italy, May 6-9, 2008. Chaired by Markus Heilig and Roberto Ciccocioppo, this symposium offered a forum for the presentation of recent data linking neuropetidergic neurotransmission to the regulation of different alcohol-related behaviors in animals and in humans. Dr. Donald Gehlert described the development of a new corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor 1 antagonist and showed its efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption and stress-induced relapse in different animal models of alcohol abuse. Dr. Andrey Ryabinin reviewed recent findings in his laboratory, indicating a role of the urocortin 1 receptor system in the regulation of alcohol intake. Dr. Annika Thorsell showed data supporting the significance of the neuropeptide Y receptor system in the modulation of behaviors associated with a history of ethanol intoxication. Dr. Roberto Ciccocioppo focused his presentation on the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptors as treatment targets for alcoholism. Finally, Dr. Markus Heilig showed recent preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that neurokinin 1 antagonism may represent a promising new treatment for alcoholism. Collectively, these investigators highlighted the significance of neuropeptidergic neurotransmission in the regulation of neurobiological mechanisms of alcohol addiction. Data also revealed the importance of these systems as treatment targets for the development of new medication for alcoholism.