The rate of crack use has become a matter of increasing concern, with the HSE distributing 50,000 crack pipes to people in Galway, Limerick and Dublin over the past five years.
The Irish Times reports the HSE purchased and gave out 49,021 pipes since 2016 across the three counties, at a cost of €65,000.
Crack pipes are distributed by the HSE and local agencies to users of the drug to prevent them from sharing pipes, which can lead to the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis C.
The figure of 49,021 relates to crack pipes issued by the HSE, and does not include those given out by local drug agencies.
Crack cocaine is smokeable and made by chemically altering cocaine powder to form rocks or crystals.