For help reaching an expert on deadline, please contact UB's media relations team at 716-645-6969 or

Note to members of the news media:

The correct name of the university is “University at Buffalo,” not “University of Buffalo.”

David Herzberg

Associate Professor of History
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Opioid epidemic; history of prescription drugs, street drugs and other psychoactive substances; drug wars; drugs and popular culture

Head shot of David Herzberg.

David Herzberg studies the history of prescription drug abuse in America. He is also an expert on the history of narcotics such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and the history of legal psychoactives such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea.

Herzberg can speak to the media about the role that street drugs and pharmaceuticals — ranging from quaaludes to opioids — have played in shaping the country’s culture and society. He can also discuss the history of public policies on prescription and other drugs, as well as the effectiveness of current laws designed to curb drug abuse.

Herzberg is author of “Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac,” a book that examines a variety of psychiatric medications and the social changes they provoked. He also published a book on the history of addictive pharmaceuticals called, "White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America."


David Herzberg, PhD
Associate Professor of History
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences