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The Dedham Organization for Substance Awareness (DOSA) is a community coalition that aims to address and prevent substance use disorders, overdose deaths, and youth substance misuse in Dedham. Research shows that parents are the biggest influence in a child’s decision whether or not to use substances, and DOSA is committed to providing parents with the tools they need to keep their children safe from the negative effects of drugs and alcohol.

Therefore, from October-December 2019, DOSA administered an anonymous online survey to parents and guardians of children in grades 6-12. This survey asked parents 22 questions about their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors surrounding underage substance use. Responses were kept confidential. In total, 362 parents responded to the survey.

This evaluation report summarizes the findings of the parent survey. Where possible, results were compared to the 2017 Dedham Parent Survey.

Key Findings:

  • 96% of Dedham parents think it is wrong for children to drink without parent supervision.
  •  68% of Dedham parents report monitoring or taking stock of their alcohol (an 11.2% percentage point increase since 2017).
  • Only 14% of Dedham parents report locking up their alcohol.
  • 48% of 12th grade parents have knowingly allowed their child to attend parties where alcohol use occurs.
  • 94% of parents believe they can have an influence on whether their child uses alcohol or drugs.
  • 75% of middle school parents and 64% of high school parents had dinner with their child 5 or more days in the last week.

For the full report click here.