NORWALK - A Norwalk doctor says parents should take efforts to know more about what their children do and who they hang out with to avoid heroin overdoses.

Dr. Brian McGovern, of Norwalk Hospital, says overdoses seem to be on the rise, and children can be using in secret, leaving family members shocked when one happens.

Addiction experts and doctors agree that communication between parents and young people is important to maintain to minimize the likelihood of a tragedy.

Most patients he treats are in their teens or 20s, McGovern says, but his youngest was 12 years old.

In some cases, he says the parents didn't have a clue that their child was using heroin.

"You'd be surprised who is using drugs," McGovern says. "I'd say to parents...know who your children are hanging out with."

McGovern says parents should know about their children's friends and acquaintances, know what they do when they hang out, and snoop if necessary.