Addiction touches the lives of nearly every family.
Millions of American families suffer the trauma and devastation of addiction.
The mission of the Louisiana Addiction Research Center (LARC) at LSU Health in Shreveport is to engage in addiction research and provide addiction education for the community and region. Research and education are conducted in an integrated environment pursuing the most cutting edge and innovative approaches.
Our goals are to:
- Develop pharmacotherapeutic and interventional models that optimize effective and compassionate care for patients suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs).
- Improve knowledge and understanding of SUDs as a public health issue through active collaboration with our community.
Current Research Projects:
- Assessing the impact of the novel SARS-Cov2 virus (the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19) on the brain, and whether it predisposes individuals to subsequent drug taking and addiction.
- Work with our current Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences (CCDS) to examine the relationships between acute and chronic drug exposure and cardiovascular health, especially with regard to methamphetamine, opioids, and combinations (i.e., “speedballs”).
- Determining the impact of methamphetamine, opioids, and combinations (i.e., “speedballs”) on the brain and neurocognitive function.
- Developing new treatments for SUDs in animal and cellular models that target neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, and can be rapidly advanced towards clinical trials.
- Use brain imaging to learn more about the healthy brain as well as changes seen in SUDs to develop new targets for pharmacotherapeutic intervention.
- Collaborating with the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory and the Emergency Department of LSU Health Sciences Center to develop identification and surveillance algorithms for traditional illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances (e.g., synthetic opioids and cannabinoids as well as “bath salt” cathinones) in use currently in our community and throughout Louisiana.
- Identify and establish optimal models of care for addiction and SUDs in Louisiana through collaborative research involving community partners, and in so doing provide for the development of a comprehensive continuum of care from prevention to recovery.
- Educate and train providers and our community about SUDs and addictive behaviors by researching effective communication and educational tools that will impact and optimize patient care and community awareness.