Meth use widespread in Tahiti - prosecutor

The public prosecutor in French Polynesia says there are at least 10,000 consumers of methamphetamine in a territory with fewer than 280,000 inhabitants.

Thomas Pison said such high use of the illegal drug is not only a crime issue but has become a public health problem.

After initially being used by the elite, methamphetamine has spread to all levels of society, including to schools.

Figures for last year show crime has dropped due to prolonged periods with curfews but that the number of methamphetamine consumers reportedly remained unchanged.

Mr Pison says the drug is highly addictive and cuts people off from society.

The drug is smuggled in from the United States and sells for up to $US8,000 a gram.