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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 Leadership

    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

    Alain H Litwin, M.D., is the new vice chair for academics in the Department of Medicine for Prisma Health–Upstate and a professor of practice in the Clemson University Department of Psychology. Previously he was a Professor in the Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and also served as HCV Medical Director of the Division of Substance Abuse at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was also an attending physician at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. He received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and completed his residency at New York University Medical Center. His research is focused on developing and studying models of hepatitis C virus (HCV) care for drug users, and advocating for increasing access to effective care for HCV-infected patients.

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

    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.

  • 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
  • Contact Us
    For more information, please contact Heidi Zinzow, Ph.D., Co-Director, at
Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology | 418 Brackett Hall