The Louisiana Addiction Research Center (LARC) at LSU Health Shreveport is a leader in addiction research. The LARC is committed to increasing knowledge and advancing research related to Substance Use Disorders to create a better quality of life for the citizens of our area.

The LARC synchronizes multiple areas of basic and clinical research, academia and Centers of Excellence within LSU Health Shreveport to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary research throughout Louisiana. The LARC is dedicated to developing a continuum of care in Louisiana that will leverage potential therapeutic models through these collaborations, ultimately resulting in advancing our care delivery abilities to improve outcomes in those who suffer from Substance Use Disorders.

Our Mission

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The mission of LARC is to provide addiction research and education in an integrated environment, pursuing the latest in innovative approaches and learning. The LARC’s goal is to radically improve models of care and intervention for those with Substance Use Disorders.

► Learn more about LARC Research

There are three pillars of the LARC and each contains a series of projects designed to address the overall objectives of the center:


Coping with the Aftermath of COVID-19

The American public will face unprecedented levels of alcohol and drug addiction following the COVID-19 pandemic, if this looming crisis is not already here. People don’t know where to turn; they are isolated and do not know how/where to seek help. Unemployment and furloughs are resulting in financial burdens on top of a plummeting economy. Uninsured and limited access to addiction treatment, healthcare worker stress, family strain and feelings of helplessness in assisting family members, and uncertainty about the future all compound the problem, leading to:
  •  Anxiety  •  Insomnia  •  Isolation  •  Depression  •  PTSD  •  All of which can produce increases in alcoholism and drug addiction

After many previous disasters (e.g., the 9/11 attacks, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the economic collapse of 2008-2010), there were documented increases in alcohol and drug abuse in the affected populations.  However, since the health and economic crises of this pandemic are unlike anything we have ever witnessed (now more than 1,000,000 documented cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 26 million people filing for unemployment for the first time), there is no way to accurately predict the associated increases in addiction that are sure to follow. These policy briefings describe the crisis that is coming - if it is not already here. 

Isolation and economic upheaval caused by COVID-19 are resulting in a sharp spike in mental health and addiction related crises. LARC is here to help.

Resources for dealing with addiction and stress of COVID-19

Contact Us

LSU Health Shreveport
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71103
(318) 813-LARC (5272)

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LARC Leadership

Executive Director

Nicholas E. Goeders, PhD

Nicholas E. Goeders, PhD

Chairman of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine; Executive Director of Louisiana Addiction Research Center

Clinical Research Director

James C. Patterson II, MD, PhD

James C. Patterson II, MD, PhD

Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Christus Schumpert Chair of Neurobiology, Clinical Research Director of Louisiana Addiction Research Center

Basic Science Research Director

Kevin Murnane, PhD

Kevin Murnane, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Basic Science Research for Louisiana Addiction Research Center


Stress and Drug Addiction Research

This video follows the research of Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Goeders as his lab unravels some of the neurobiological mysteries involved in the effects of stress on drug addiction.  This work evolved over three decades and led to several patents and the founding of Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc.  Embera is currently investigating the effects of a drug developed in Dr. Goeders’ lab and initiated Phase 2 clinical studies for cocaine use disorder in the summer of 2020.  The video traces the translation of a drug from the research laboratory into the clinic.

Featured News Story

Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 to 2019, NIH study finds

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Overdose deaths involving methamphetamine nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people ages 18-64 in the United States, according to a study by NIDA. In 2020, more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, marking the largest one-year increase in overdose deaths ever recorded.

Read More about Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 to 2019, NIH study finds (opens in new window/tab)


Student working in the lab.

Louisiana Addiction Research Center (LARC)

Leading the Way in Addiction Research and Education

Group photo of LARC Board Members

Louisiana Addiction Research Center (LARC)