Fall 2021

The Baldy Center Podcast

Episode 20.

Episode 20: David Herzberg discusses repeated waves of addiction to pharmaceutical opioids and other medicines in the U.S.

Published October 22, 2021

Episode 20 features David Herzberg, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, University at Buffalo. Herzberg discusses repeated waves of addiction to pharmaceutical opioids and other medicines in the 20th and 21st century U.S. Among other things, he examines how the predominantly white consumers labeled as “patients” were understood as innocent victims when they became addicted, while consumers who became addicted outside of medical channels were portrayed as dangerous criminals. Herzberg is the author of a history of addictive pharmaceuticals titled White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction, and co-author of a forthcoming book with Helena Hansen and Jules Netherland about how the politics of whiteness has shaped the history of opioids, opioid addiction, and drug policy in the United States.

Keywords: Opioids, opioid crisis, drug use, race

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David Herzberg PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, University at Buffalo

RESEARCH FOCUS: 20th century United States History; Gender and Sexuality; Medicine, Disability and Science; Social and Cultural History

David Herzberg, PhD.

David Herzberg, PhD

David Herzberg is a historian of drugs whose research focuses on the legal kind—psychoactive pharmaceuticals. His research explores the nature and trajectory of drug commerce, drug use, and drug policy in American racial capitalism. Herzberg's work appears in numerous scholarly and medical journals, in popular media, and in two books: White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America (University of Chicago Press, 2020) and Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). Herzberg is co-editor of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal, the official organ of the Alcohol and Drug History Society. 

2021-22 Podcast Producer

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer.

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer

Edgar Girtain is host/producer of the 2021-22 Edition of The Baldy Center Podcast. He is a PhD student in the music department at SUNY Buffalo, where he studies with David Felder. Girtain is a director of the Casa de Las Artes at the University of Southern Chile (UACh), and president of the Southern Chilean Composers Forum (FoCo Sur).He is an eminent composer, pianist, and writer of his own biographies. Girtain's diverse areas of work are often collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and international in ambition if not in practice.

Executive Producers

Samantha Barbas, PhD
Professor, UB School of Law
Director, The Baldy Center

Caroline Funk, PhD
Associate Director, The Baldy Center

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