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Pop icon to give advice about sex, drug abuse

Students won’t have to call in Wednesday to be on Loveline.

University Lecture Series (ULS) will feature pop personality Dr. Drew Pinsky, an internist and addiction medicine specialist best known for helping people with relationship, sex and substance-abuse problems on his television show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and radio show Loveline.

Wednesday’s lecture will be modeled after the radio show, but instead of dialing up Loveline to get Pinsky’s advice, students can ask questions in person. A practicing medical doctor certified in addiction medicine, Pinsky has been advising listeners since 1982.

In addition to being a TV and radio personality, Pinsky is the medical director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. He is also an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

“I think if students have issues in regards to love, sex or relationships, then it would be a good time for them to address that with someone with professional advice,” ULS graduate student adviser Jenna Kelly said, explaining one of the benefits of bringing Pinsky to campus.

While some guest speakers write speeches weeks in advance or rehearse lists of talking points, Pinsky said he doesn’t prepare for his lectures.

“I let the room guide the conversation,” he said. “It’s not a cold lecture. It depends on where students want to take the conversation. It is for everyone.”

After more than 20 years of giving relationship, sex and substance-abuse advice, Pinsky said he is most concerned about binge drinking on college campuses and among teenagers.

“If you look at all the unwanted pregnancies, unwanted sexual contact and unwanted STDs, most involve alcohol use,” he said.

At the end of each school year, ULS releases a survey that allows students to pick who they want to see the following school year, and Pinsky received a high response, said ULS student leader Lindsey Grossman.

Brandon Mauro, a freshman majoring in mass communications, said he thinks Pinsky coming to speak at USF is a learning opportunity.

“I think any way and anything you can do to learn more and educate yourself is beneficial, especially if you are in a relationship,” Mauro said.

Meagan Eastman, a sophomore psychology major, said she hadn’t heard of Pinksy but would consider going given the nature of his talk.

“He sounds like he could have some interesting things to say,” she said.

About 600 to 700 people are expected to attend, said ULS student leader Amy Bortzfield. In addition to Pinsky’s popularity, this anticipated attendance could be because the event differs from typical ULS guest lecturers.

“I think it’s going to be something really exciting because it’s something different and something interactive,” Kelly said.

“Loveline with Dr. Drew” is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m. The event is free for USF students.