We are a multidisciplinary team that examines the intersection between health behavior, mental health, and addiction.
We address essential questions, like:
  • 1. Why are some people more likely to use and abuse drugs?
  • 2. How do drugs alter the way we think, feel, and behave?
  • 3. What makes something addictive?
By answering these questions we can:
  • 1. Understand and reduce health disparities in cancer and other addiction-related diseases.
  • 2. Prevent and treat addiction and associated mental health problems.
  • 3. Identify the basic mechanisms of emotion and motivation.

Dr. Matthew Kirkpatrick awarded the Young Psychopharmacologist Award

Congratulations to Dr. Kirkpatrick for receiving the Young Psychopharmacologist Award at APA's 2016 Division 28 Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse Convention!

HEAL Research used in TV Spot

An recent publication by HEAL in JAMA was featured in a Television spot by the California Department of Public Health.

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Teen vapers have easy time buying supplies online

Research has shown that online purchasing of liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes is largely unregulated, as many teens have been buying such products through online vendors. Director of USC-HEAL, Dr. Adam Leventhal, explains that this is highly dangerous because teens who are purchasing the e-cigarettes may have younger siblings who could be at risk of swallowing the liquids, which can be deadly.

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WIRED Interview on Vaping

WIRED magazine writer, Brent Rose, interviews Dr. Adam Leventhal regarding the potential health effects of vaping.

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ACS Relay For Life of USC Event

Dr. Adam Leventhal will be speaking at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event on Sunday, April 3rd at 10:00am. The event is open to the public, and will take place on April 2-3 at Cromwell Track & Field.

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How to be a Prolific Addictions Researcher and Maintain Balance in your Life

The Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP) Live Podcast with Dr. Adam Leventhal, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Southern California. He directs the USC Health, Emotion, and Addiction Laboratory (HEAL), a research group that studies the intersection of mental health, addiction, and health behavior, with interests spanning psychopharmacology, developmental psychopathology, and epidemiology of addiction.

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The Sociopharmacology of Tobacco Addiction: Implications for Understanding Health Disparities

This article released in the February issue of nicotine and tobacco research by HEAL director Adam Leventhal on Sociopharmacology selected as a editors choice article and accompanied by a editorial by Dr. Brian Hitsman.

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Teenagers Who Try E-Cigarettes Are More Than Twice as Likely to Start Smoking

There is a lot of debate about the use of e-cigarettes, however longitudinal studies have provided evidence that adolescents who use e-cigarettes have an increased likelihood that they will then progress to smoking traditional cigarettes, as suggested by results from surveys following high school students in Hawaii conduced by Wills and colleagues. Such results are consistent with those from USC-HEAL lab's study conducted in Los Angeles High Schools.

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Junhan Cho, Ph.D. Parent and Youth Dopamine D4 Receptor Genotypes Moderate Multilevel Contextual Effects on Youth's Risk Behavior

Jan 22nd, 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
SSB2 Room 2904
2011 N. Soto Street

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Teen Smokers May Be Hard-Wired to Crave Cigarettes

Teen smokers might crave nicotine in part because their brains respond differently than adults to seeing people light up.

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Teens with Fewer Mental Health Issues Turn to E-Cigarettes

Adolescents with moderate emotional health problems do not smoke, but they may vape, USC-HEAL study finds. Surveyed teens who picked up vaping had emotional and behavioral problems that fell midway between smokers and teens who neither vaped nor smoked.

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Genes May Make It Harder for Some to Quit Smoking

A story by the American Cancer Society featured Adam Leventhal, PhD, associate professor and director of USC HEAL, on the role genetics play in tobacco addiction. "We need to have a better understanding of the biology of tobacco addiction, particularly in this high-priority population," Leventhal said.

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Healthy Debate

New Beginnings: Better Vagal Maneuvers for Arrhythmias and eCigarettes in Adolescents

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Teens who use e-cigarettes may be transitioning to tobacco products, research shows

A multi-university team led by Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) researchers has found, for the first time, that using or “vaping” of electronic cigarettes is associated with a propensity to start smoking cigarettes or other, harmful tobacco products.

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HEAL Seminar Series: Mark Kaplan
Acute use of alcohol and suicide: Lessons Learned from national postmortem data

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