Headshot photo of Benjamin J. Morasco, Ph.D.

Benjamin J. Morasco, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Dr. Morasco is a Staff Psychologist at the VA Portland Health Care System and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at OHSU. He conducts clinical research on issues related to chronic pain, with interests in improving pain treatment outcomes in patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. He is currently funded by grants from NIH, Department of Veterans Affairs, and PCORI to conduct clinical and observational trials designed to improve pain treatment outcomes and enhance the safety of common chronic pain interventions. Dr. Morasco also provides clinical services in the substance use disorder specialty clinic at the Portland VA.

Education and training

    • B.A., 1997, University of Northern Iowa
    • M.A., 1999, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
    • Ph.D., 2003, Saint Louis University
  • Internship

    • University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 2003
  • Fellowship

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship in health psychology. Hartford Hospital/Institute of Living. Hartford, Connecticut 2004
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship in addictive behaviors. University of Connecticut Health Center. Farmington, Connecticut 2005


Selected publications

  • Morasco BJ, Duckart JP, Dobscha SK. Adherence to clinical guidelines for opioid therapy for chronic pain in patients with substance use disorder. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2010;26:965-971.
  • Morasco, B.J., Gritzner, S., Lewis, L., Oldham, R., Turk, D.C., & Dobscha, S.K. (2011). Systematic review of prevalence, correlates, and treatment outcomes for chronic non-cancer pain in patients with comorbid substance use disorder. Pain, 152, 488-497.
  • Morasco, B.J., Corson, K., Turk, D.C., & Dobscha, S.K. (2011). Association between substance use disorder status and pain-related function following 12 months of treatment in primary care patients with musculoskeletal pain. The Journal of Pain, 12, 352-359.
  • Morasco, B.J., Duckart, J.P., Carr, T.P., Deyo, R.A., & Dobscha, S.K. (2010). Clinical characteristics of veterans prescribed high doses of opioid medications for chronic non-cancer pain. Pain, 151, 625-632.
  • Lozier CC, Nugent SM, Smith NX, Yarborough BJ, Dobscha SK, Deyo RA, Morasco BJ. Correlates of use and perceived effectiveness of non-pharmacologic strategies for chronic pain among patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2018;33:46-53.
  • Nugent SM, Yarborough BJ, Smith NX, Dobscha SK, Deyo RA, Green CA, Morasco BJ. Patterns and correlates of medical cannabis use for pain among patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy. General Hospital Psychiatry 2018;50:104-110.
  • Nugent SM, Morasco BJ, O'Neil ME, Freeman M, Low A, Kondo K, Elven C, Zakher B, Motu'apuaka M, Paynter R, Kansagara D. The effects of cannabis among adults with chronic pain and an overview of general harms: A systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine 2017;167:319-331.
  • Lovejoy TI, Morasco BJ, Demidenko MI, Meath TH, Frank JW, Dobscha SK. Reasons for discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy in patients with and without substance use disorders. Pain 2017;158:526-534.
  • Morasco BJ, Yarborough BJ, Smith NX, Dobscha SK, Deyo RA, Perrin NA, Green CA. Higher prescription opioid dose is associated with worse patient-reported pain outcomes and more health care utilization. Journal of Pain 2017;18:437-445.
  • Morasco BJ, Krebs EE, Cavanagh R, Hyde S, Crain A, Dobscha SK. Treatment changes following aberrant urine drug test results for patients prescribed chronic opioid therapy. Journal of Opioid Management 2015;11:45-51.


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