The NZ Drug Foundation isn't yet convinced New Zealand is about to suffer a second 'P' epidemic, despite gangs warning use of the powerful stimulant is back on the rise.
Senior members of Black Power have told Newshub they've resumed production of methamphetamine, putting it on "every street corner". Just last month police made New Zealand's largest ever meth bust.
But Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell is hesitant to call it an epidemic.
"I'm not prepared to call it that yet. We have a conundrum here - the official Government statistics show… they've succeeded in reducing methamphetamine use from 2.2 percent to less than 1 percent of the total population using it," he told Paul Henry on Tuesday.
"Meth use has more than halved in the last five years."
The first epidemic peaked in 2003, with around 2.7 percent of the population having used it in the previous 12 months according to Ministry of Health data.
A police-led study late last year suggested slightly more people detained by police in Christchurch had used meth in 2014 than 2013, and it was becoming easier to source. Other locations showed static or declining usage among detainees.
But that study only looked at police detainees. The most recent population-wide statistics - the 2014/15 NZ Health Survey - showed a year-on-year drop in meth use from 1.1 percent to 0.9 percent.
"Our lifestyles at the moment are we want to work hard and play hard, and methamphetamine is kind of the perfect drug for that. But it is a drug that can very quickly spiral out of control," says Mr Bell.
He says the best value results have come from treatment, rather than tougher law enforcement.
"We've put a lot of effort under the Prime Minister's plan into treatment. We've also done things around law enforcement. We think the biggest success has been around the investment in drug treatment," he says.
So even if reports of a second epidemic are overblown, he says it's important to keep treatment funding up so use stays down
"We shouldn't take our foot off this issue - if we're going to put more resources into this, it should go to treatment."