Eric Benotsch, Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Benotsch

Associate Professor
808 W Franklin, rm 208
(804) 828-0133

Associate Professor (tenured)
Ph.D. (1998), The University of Iowa

Research Interests

My research focuses on substance use and HIV prevention. Recent projects have examined the role of the Internet as an HIV prevention tool, the use of substances and sexual risk behavior in men who are traveling for leisure, and the relationship between literacy, numeracy, and disease progression in HIV-positive adults. One of my current projects examines the non-medical use of prescription medications in both young heterosexual adults and in gay and bisexual men. My work seeks to develop interventions that promote sexual health. I am particularly interested in novel interventions in new venues not normally accessed by prevention workers, including prevention activities with persons who are on vacation, or who meet sexual partners online.

Select Publications

Benotsch, E. G., Zimmerman, R. S., Cathers, L., Heck, T., McNulty, S., Pierce, J., Perrin, P. B., & Snipes, D. J. (2016). Use of the Internet to meet sexual partners, sexual risk behavior, and mental health in transgender adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 597-605
Benotsch, E. G., Martin, A. M., Koester, S., Mason, M. J., Jeffers, A. J., & Snipes, D. J. (2015). Driving under the influence of prescription drugs used non-medically: Associations in a young adult sample. Substance Abuse, 36, 99-105.
Benotsch, E. G., Snipes, D. J., Martin, A. M., & Bull, S. S. (2013). Sexting, substance use, and sexual risk behavior in young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 307-313.
Benotsch, E.G., Zimmerman, R.S., Cathers, L., McNulty, S., Pierce, J., Heck, T., Perrin, P., & Snipes, D.J. (2013). Non-medical use of prescription drugs, polysubstance use, and mental health in transgender adults.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132, 391-394.
Benotsch, E. G., Perschbacher Lance, S., Nettles, C. D., & Koester, S. (2012). Attitudes towards methamphetamine use and HIV risk behavior in men who have sex with men. The American Journal on Addictions, 21S35-S42.

Recent Courses

  • Health Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Psychology of the Abnormal, undergraduate level
  • Health Psychology, graduate level
  • Research Methods in Health Psychology, graduate level
  • Health Psychology Research Colloquium, graduate level

Recent Grants

The genetic and environmental etiology of non-medical use of prescription drugs. Co-Principal Investigator. July 2016-June 2018. National Institute of Drug Abuse. R21DA038852, $275,000.

Reducing teen tobacco use via text messaging: Motivational interviewing integrated with social network counseling. Co-Investigator. July 2012-June 2015. Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. 852P014, $450,000.

Sex, drugs, and consequences of dropout on HIV outcomes in WIHS, MACS, and AIEDRP. Co-Investigator. November 2010-October 2013. National Institute of Drug Abuse. R01DA030495, $450,000.


  • Outstanding Service Award, VCU Psychology Department, 2012

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