The abuse of crack cocaine has risen in Ireland and has overtaken heroin as the most commonly abused drug, according to an addiction service.

Coolmine, an organisation supporting people with drug addiction based in Dublin, has seen an increase in admissions for crack cocaine.

It said 33% of all its admissions are for crack cocaine addiction - overtaking heroin at 31%.

Crack cocaine is a smokable form of cocaine which is made by chemically altering cocaine powder to form crystals or rocks.

Coolmine says the cost of crack cocaine has decreased in the last 12 to 18 months.

The garda drugs unit has seen a one-third decrease in personnel over the last ten years. 

However, gardaí say that the fight against sale and supply of illegal drugs remains a priority.