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Program Addresses Emerging Drug Threats, Depression in Youth

Source: IUP Media Relations

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, president of the national Partnership for a Drug-Free America, will partner with IUP’s Center for Counselor Training and Services for a free program April 4 titled “Adolescence: Emerging Drug Threats and Depression.”

Steve Pasierb will return to IUP in conjunction with receiving a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award on April 5. Pasierb is a 1984 and 1986 graduate of IUP, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Criminology and master’s degree in Communications Media.

The program, free and open to the community, will be offered from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. at the IUP Eberly College of Business Auditorium. It is cosponsored by the IUP Center for Counselor Training and Services and the IUP Alumni Association.

“IUP has many alumni who are internationally known for their expertise and leadership in their fields,” said Mary Jo Lyttle, executive director of the IUP Alumni Association and director of Alumni Affairs. “Our alumni also are very generous with their time and talents, and we are truly appreciative of Mr. Pasierb’s willingness to participate in this important program for our community.”

Pasierb will present “Emerging Drug Threats Facing Our Youth” from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. His program will address the changing nature of youth substance abuse behaviors, including youth polysubstance abuse behaviors of pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter medicines, chemical compounds, and other products.

He also will present information to help persons understand the signs and symptoms of youth substance use and potential intervening actions, the range of available resources and supporting organizations, and the role and influence of parents, adult caregivers, and community-based organizations in driving reductions in youth substance abuse.

Dr. John McCarthy, associate professor in the IUP Department of Counseling and director of the Center for Counselor Training and Services, will present “Adolescent Depression: From Symptoms to Treatment” from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
Dr. McCarthy will discuss symptoms related to teenage depression, prevalence rates and epidemiological factors, main themes of qualitative research on adolescent depression, and elements of counseling approaches with empirical support.
The Center for Counselor Training and Services is an IUP center created to develop professional workshops and training for community and school counseling professionals throughout the region.

Pasierb has served as president and CEO of Partnership for a Drug-Free America since 2001. He has been with this organization since 1993, having served in various executive capacities.

In his role with the organization, Pasierb has been instrumental in creating a program that reduced the use of Ecstasy by 50 percent and launching a multiyear education program on steroid abuse in collaboration with Major League Baseball. He also served as the program manager for an innovative initiative on addiction treatment (Hope, Help, and Healing) with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Pasierb also aided in the development of the nation’s first research-based effort to counter the intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Recognized with numerous awards, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America was honored for its extraordinary contributions to world health, for which it received the prestigious Discovery Health Medical Honors Award in 2003.

It has realized five consecutive years of double-digit growth in contributions; the organization leverages every donated dollar into $38 dollars of program services. Its educational programs, research, and projects have a combined annual national impact of $400 million. 

While pursuing his studies at IUP, Pasierb also supervised personnel and managed the WIUP-FM radio station from 1983 to 1986.

He served as an advertising account executive at WLTJ-FM in Pittsburgh and as director of Media Services for GNVC Visual Communications in Pittsburgh before becoming client services manager and business development director of Freed & Associates, an advertising and public relations firm in Baltimore.

Immediately before joining the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Pasierb worked as the manager of Marketing and Media Communications for the Maryland Governor’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, where he was responsible for launching and managing the Media-Advertising Partnership for a Drug-Free Maryland.

Elected to the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement in 2003, Pasierb is a member of the Advertising Educational Foundation and of the organizing committee of Advertising Week in New York City. He has also served on the board of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and is a current member of the National Advisory Committee of Darkness to Light. He serves on the board of directors for the Partnership for a Drug-Free Iowa and the University of Pennsylvania Treatment Research Institute. A native of Stillwater, N.J., he resides with his wife, Wendy, in Norwalk, Conn.

Dr. McCarthy has been at IUP since 2001. He has coauthored articles on the topic of adolescent depression and youth suicide. These articles can be found in the most recent issues of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and the Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association. He has presented on teenage depression regionally and nationally, including at the 2008 conference of the American Counseling Association. 

For more information about the event, contact the IUP Office of Alumni Relations at 724-357-7942 or 800-937-2487.