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Clemson University Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research

Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research


The Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research (CAMHR) is dedicated to conducting research on addiction and mental health conditions in order to inform policies and practices that prevent and reduce the harms of these public health problems. Our mission includes generating a positive impact on science, policy, and practice, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life and health of individuals and communities. Our research covers epidemiology, prevention, and intervention for addiction and mental health conditions.

  • Epidemiology: The prevalence, risk and protective factors associated with addiction and mental health conditions.
  • Prevention: Evaluation of strategies across all levels of the social ecology that prevent or mitigate these public health problems, including strategies that target individuals, families, schools, communities, and society.
  • Intervention: Developing evidence-based practices for ameliorating substance use and mental health conditions. Improving service provision, utilization, and delivery.

Clemson Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research

Faculty, Staff and Community Resource

As a resource for faculty, students, the community, and the state, CAMHR offers technical assistance to non-profit organizations, community-based agencies, and healthcare providers. We provide mentoring and professional development opportunities for researchers to foster their research skills and success in obtaining extramural funding. We collaborate with academic, community, and healthcare partners, as well as municipalities, government departments, and agencies. We promote the visibility, accessibility, and application of our research through events, communications, and outreach, and we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion by reducing health disparities via research, policy, and practice.

  • Our Team

    Heidi ZinzowHeidi Zinzow, Ph.D., Co-Director

    Dr. Zinzow is a Professor and Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology and Clemson University School of Health Research. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia in 2007 and completed an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship in Traumatic Stress at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina before assuming her faculty appointment at Clemson University in 2008. Dr. Zinzow has authored over 90 publications on trauma and mental health, and her research has been funded by several federal agencies, including NIH, SAMHSA, and NSF. Her research focuses on prevention programs and clinical interventions for trauma and related mental health problems, including PTSD, substance use, and suicidality. She has also conducted research on help-seeking, as well as risk and protective factors for victimization, perpetration, and trauma-related mental health symptoms. Dr. Zinzow is the co-founder of Clemson University’s suicide prevention initiative, Tigers Together to Stop Suicide, is a member of the Administrator Researcher Collaborative on campus sexual misconduct and plays an active role in TIGERS Advance (Faculty Advancement Office) to promote cultural inclusivity and gender equity on campus. Prior research projects include development and testing of 1) a web-based intervention to prevent sexual violence and heavy drinking, 2) a digital app to prevent sexual violence and promote bystander intervention, 3) a suicide prevention advocacy training program, and 4) a mindfulness-based intervention for opioid relapse prevention. Current projects include a campus climate survey to assess sexual misconduct and a brief trauma screening, referral, and sexual violence prevention program for women with substance use disorders.

    Alain LitwinAlain Litwin, M.D., Co-Director

    Dr. Litwin is the Vice Chair of Academics and Research in the Department of Medicine at Prisma Health and University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Greenville where he leads the training and research programs across 19 divisions.  Dr. Litwin is Professor of Medicine at University of South Carolina and Professor of Psychology at Clemson University and serves as the Executive Director of the Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center and Co-Director of the Clemson Center for Addiction and Mental Health Research. He is board certified in addiction medicine and internal medicine and has been providing substance use disorder and medical care (including HIV and HCV care) to people with substance use disorders and complex social, psychiatric, and medical needs within integrated primary care and substance use treatment programs for 20 years. With funding greater than $50 million, his research, clinical and mentoring activities focus on developing and studying models of care for patients with substance use disorders.  He co-leads the Opioid Council for Prisma Health, the largest health system in South Carolina, and oversee taskforces focused on opioid stewardship, pain management, and addiction treatment. He serves on SC’s Governor’s Opioid Task Force and co-leads the South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction. He leads an early career NIH research accelerator program, and has an extensive history of mentoring, leading to 11 career development awards and 9 R01s, and served as the Principal Mentor on three NIDA career development awards and Co-Mentor on two additional NIDA/NIMH awards. Dr. Litwin is an expert in conducting stakeholder-engaged and informed research including engaging people actively using drugs and is the Principal Investigator of PCORI-funded HERO national trial which has 8 local stakeholder groups across 8 states and 1 national stakeholder group. He is  leading or collaborating on 5 current NIH trials that focus on peer recovery support specialists. Dr. Litwin is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Health Innovators Fellowship and  member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

    Laura S. BogardusLaura S. Bogardus, Ph.D., Associate Director

    Laura S. Bogardus earned a Ph.D. in International Family and Community Studies from Clemson University, an M.A. in Human Behavior and Conflict Management from Columbia College, and a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University. As a doctoral student, she was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Excellence in Engagement and Social Advocacy Graduate Student Award; the Kimbrough and Melton Parents Award; and the Graduate Student Award of Excellence. A distinguished Marano Fellow of the Aspen Institute's Sector Skills Academy for Innovative Workforce Strategies, Dr. Bogardus is also a Certified Senior Human Resource Professional (SHRM-SCP), a ProsciR Certified Change Management Practitioner, and is formally trained in the process of civil mediation. Dr. Bogardus’ research and policy interests include fair employment practices, workforce inclusion, and mental health. She has significant experience as an organizational development leader in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors with expertise in board management, program design, and project execution. She serves on the board of Upstate International in Greenville, SC and is an active consultant and supporter of the nonprofit community.

    Noah ReynoldsNoah Reynolds, M.S., Project Manager

    Noah earned his M.S. in Social Science from Clemson University. His thesis is entitled: “Unmasking Justice: Racial Disparity Trends in Sentencing Before and After the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Some of his involvements at Clemson included: 1) Tutoring incarcerated students at the Greenville County Detention Center (GCDC), 2) Co-leading a creative inquiry class focused on the experiences of incarcerated individuals, and 3) Collaborating on COSSUP and BJA funded evaluations in the Center for Criminal Justice and Social Research. Noah’s research interests center around recidivism, reentry, and sentencing. Outside of CAMHR, Noah continues to tutor students at GCDC and is actively involved in starting a degree-offering prison education program at Clemson.

    Lauren SmallsLauren Smalls, Research Assistant

    Lauren earned a B.A. in Psychology from Clemson University. During her time as an undergraduate student at Clemson, she held the positions of President and Secretary of The Association of Minority Psychology Students, served as an intern at Clemson Creative Counseling, and worked as a teaching assistant for the Advanced Experimental Psychology course. Her research interests include mental health and well-being outcomes among adolescent and young adult populations. Lauren also works alongside the creative inquiry team led by Dr. Zinzow on the sexual violence prevention program for women with substance use disorders.

  • Faculty Affiliates
  • Partners

    Clemson University Center for Criminal Justice and Social Research

    The Center for Criminal Justice and Social Research enables Clemson University faculty members to provide a variety of services to community partners, including technical assistance on grant writing, independent evaluation of community-based projects, and research on the outcomes and impact of community initiatives. The center serves the land-grant mission of the University and facilitates research-practitioner partnerships by helping local governmental, criminal justice, and non-profit organizations pursue funding for social research and evaluation.

    Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center

    The Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center serves as a hub for a growing collaborative of leaders who are developing new models of care for addiction medicine using innovative research.  The Addiction Medicine Center partners with CAMHR on research projects related to prevention, intervention, and the underlying mechanisms of addiction.

  • Research Areas

    Research conducted by our faculty affiliates spans several domains, including:

    • Health disparities
    • Genetics of addiction
    • Technology-based interventions (virtual reality, telehealth, digital apps for mental health)
    • Complementary and mindfulness-based interventions
    • Rural health, mobile care, and outreach
    • Connections between natural environment, built environment, and mental health
    • Addiction and cognitive functioning
    • Trauma, adverse experiences, and mental health
    • Leveraging big data to understand resource allocation, service use, and health outcomes
    • Prevention programs for sexual violence, suicide, and substance use
    • Developing models of care for co-occurring disorders
    • Improving care and resources for neonatal abstinence syndrome
    • Expanding peer recovery coaching capacity and resources
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy and empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders and other mental health conditions
    • Barriers to treatment adherence and care
    • Stress and well-being in the workforce
    • Workforce development to improve provider skills and increase access to evidence-based mental health services
  • Recent Projects

    Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

    Expanding the availability and quality of resources for families of infants diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and providing comprehensive and long-term care for this vulnerable population in Pickens County.

    • Principal Investigator: Rachel Mayo, Ph.D.
    • $250,000 funded by South Carolina Opioid Recovery Funds (SCORF)

    South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction

    CAMHR is a member of a consortium with the Medical University of South Carolina, University of South Carolina, Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), and SC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide technical assistance as part of a statewide initiative to offer surveillance, monitoring, program evaluation, and education around opioid use and other substance use disorders. This Center of Excellence has received $1 million in funding by the governor and is pursuing additional funding through SC opioid recovery funds.

    Development and Pilot of a Trauma Screening/Referral and Sexual Violence Prevention Protocol for Women with Substance Use Disorders

    • Principal Investigator: Heidi Zinzow, Ph.D.
    • $20,000 funded by Prisma Health Sciences Center
  • Technical Assistance

    As a partner of the SC Center of Excellence in Addiction, CAMHR coordinates help and mentorship from South Carolina experts on opioid and substance use disorder abatement strategies. Request one-on-one support by completing this brief form or by emailing with a description of your questions or needs.

    CAMHR also provides a Clinician Warm Line for practitioners.

    Technical Assistance Data & Strategy Resource List

  • Contact Us
    For more information, please contact Heidi Zinzow, Ph.D., Co-Director, at

Training and Technical Assistance Available Through the South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction

The South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction is a collaboration of three state research universities – Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina – and two state agencies – the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Addiction leaders from these organizations have come together to support South Carolina’s localities in navigating opioid and addiction resources.

Through the Center of Excellence in Addiction, CAMHR provides technical assistance via a Clinical Warm Line for Clinicians and Practitioners as well as Addiction Abatement Strategic Assistance. Other services provided by the Center to South Carolina leaders include a telementoring program (ECHO) and ongoing data analysis.

Access training and technical assistance here or contact us at

The South Carolina Center of Excellence in Addiction logo

In The News

photo of Arelis Moore

Strengthening communities: Clemson professor wins award for dedication to students and community health

Arelis Moore, associate professor of Spanish and Community Health in the Department of Languages, is the recipient of the Pearce Center for Professional Communication’s 2024 Professional Writing and Communication Award. The award is given to one instructor per academic year who participated in either the Client-Based Program or the inaugural Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program. It recognizes faculty going “above and beyond” to provide their students and community partners with an enriching learning experience, Pearce Center Program Coordinator Sarah Costley said.

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Funding Achievements

CBSHS receives funding to elevate opioid use disorder treatment programs in rural communities

Researchers in the Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences have received $5.5 million from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop data-driven approaches for opioid use disorder treatment, recovery and prevention in rural communities.

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Department of Psychology
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