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 opioid and other prescription drug misuse in young adults, and associations between discrimination, mental health and substance use in sexual and gender minority adults. One of my current projects is developing a microeconomic intervention to improve financial standing and lower risk in economically and behaviorally vulnerable transgender women. Another project examines genetic and environmental contributors to prescription drug misuse in a genetically informative twin sample.

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

Microeconomic Intervention to Reduce HIV Transmission in Economically Disadvantaged Transgender Women

Amount: $450,000
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Period: December 2017—November 2020
Number: R34MH115775

The Genetic and Environmental Etiology of Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs

Amount: $275,000
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
Period: July 2016—June 2019
Number: R21DA038852

Reducing Teen Tobacco Use Via Text Messaging: Motivational Interviewing Integrated With Social Network Counseling

Amount: $450,000
Role: Co-Investigator
Source: Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth
Period: July 2012—June 2015
Number: 852P014

Sex, Drugs, and Consequences of Dropout on HIV Outcomes in WIHS, MACS, and AIEDRP

Amount: $450,000
Role: Co-Investigator
Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
Period: November 2010—October 2013
Number: R01DA030495


  • Outstanding Scholarship Award, VCU Psychology Department, 2016
  • Outstanding Service Award, VCU Psychology Department, 2012

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