Methamphetamine is a problem on the streets of Horowhenua, but is no more widespread in the region than any other part of the country, say local police.
Senior Sergeant Sam Gilpin of Levin police said methamphetamine was a very dangerous drug with severe impacts on the physical and mental health of its users.
The Horowhenua Chronicle recently reported the concerns of a community action group, whose members said the drug was getting cheaper and its use more widespread.
"This town is swimming in meth," Rachel Donna told the Chronicle. "It's not a ripple any more - it's a tsunami. It's easier to get meth in this town than pot...the cliff is getting bigger and the ambulance is getting further away," she said.
Gilpin said Horowhenua was similar to other small areas around New Zealand, in that drug use was more noticeable within smaller communities.
However, it was no more widespread in the region than any other part of the country.
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"Police are often called to respond to incidents involving methamphetamine and users can present in varying states from violent to unresponsive," he said.
"Methamphetamine is resulting in real deprivation and harm to our communities and we continue to work closely with our NGOs, community groups and addiction services to reduce this suffering."
The use of methamphetamine was also linked to a variety of other offending.
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"Methamphetamine is primarily linked to gangs who profit from dealing the drug. It's also frequently associated with other types of offending, such as burglary and theft," he said.
Gilpin said police were always working hard to stem the trade of methamphetamine and were committed to apprehending manufacturers and dealers of methamphetamine.
"This is an issue that cannot be resolved in isolation - a community-wide approach is required," he said.
Wastewater testing results helped police and other agencies make informed decisions around drug treatment services, and initiatives to combat organised crime groups dealing in methamphetamine and other drugs, he said.
The latest test to detect the level of dangerous drug use in New Zealand shows a massive methamphetamine problem although it use is no worse in Horowhenua than anywhere else in the country.
The test, which took wastewater samples in different regions to detect the level of illicit drug use, was carried out four times each year since testing began late last year.
Results show methamphetamine remains the most commonly used illicit drug nationwide. Approximately 15kg is consumed each week, with an estimated street value of $8.9 million.
Methamphetamine was estimated to cost New Zealand almost $20 million every week in social harm - more than $1 billion annually. Its use is most prevalent in Northland and Hawke's Bay.
Testing was conducted in 38 sites across New Zealand, measuring 80 per cent of the population, after an initial pilots in Auckland, Christchurch and Whāngarei.
Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) chief executive Keith McLea said the organisation had extensive expertise in the science of wastewater testing.
"The pilot project provided real-time information about drug use patterns in the wider community which is proving valuable in keeping communities safe," he said.
MDMA was the second most commonly detected illicit drug in New Zealand with an estimated consumption rate of 7.9kg on average each week, with its use most prevalent in Southland and Auckland.
Cocaine was detected in low quantities, indicating a much smaller base and likely reflecting less demand and supply associated with the drug. It's use was noticeably more prevalent in Auckland.
The use of Fentanyl was extremely low with testing showing just 1 gram was used nationwide each week.
Heroin was not detected at any of the testing sites in New Zealand between November last year and July this year, indicating its use was very low.
ESR planned to also introduce testing for cannabis and pseudoephedrine in the future.
Meanwhile, anyone with information regarding the manufacture or sale of illicit drugs is encouraged to contact police or report it confidentially through Crimestoppers.
The Chronicle has approached community health providers for comment.