The Drug Investigations, Violence, and Environmental DIVE) Studies Laboratory conducts cutting-edge research on violence, alcohol, tobacco and other drug (VATOD) exposure. While environmental strategies for health promotion have been successful in decreasing the incidence of infectious diseases and injuries, the environmental approach has not been widely or successfully adapted to decrease or prevent VATOD exposure. Our work is designed to fill this gap, and our mission is to clarify the environmental contexts in which people live and experience VATOD exposure, and provide insight on environmental factors which promote or sustain elevated levels of toxic social exposures within neighborhoods.
Our model is very simple. We conduct the research that is wanted and needed in the community and in the field. We work closely with local stakeholders including community members and organizations, governmental and quasi-governmental organizations, as well as other academic researchers to promote public health. We lay the groundwork and provide our partners with the evidence needed for successful community action targeted at environmental features within communities using a classic epidemiologic approach.
We are also advocates for public health policies, locally and nationally. To that end, we work with policy makers to translate research into policy into practice. Our primary focus has been in Baltimore City, but we also work with a national network of collaborators to share best practices and lessons learned with the goal of developing a strong, diversified set of models for community transformation.