'Legal cocaine' may be new designer drug

SARAH LAMONT
Last updated 16:05 15/02/2012
Mr Asia's Ya-yo
NOT KNOWN: Mystery surrounds this product, Mr Asia's Ya-yo, which is being sold in Queesntown and is being marketed as a legal cocaine.

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Mystery surrounds a synthetic drug mimicking cocaine, which is being sold and used in Queenstown.

National experts were first informed of the product known as Mr Asia's Yay-yo by the Mirror and said they had not heard of the drug.

The Mirror has spoken to people in Queenstown who have tried and liked the product.

Brew-Worx co-owner Brendon Cameron said he stocked it briefly before Christmas but no longer had it  because the importer could not continue supplying it to them. However, it was back in the store yesterday at a cost of $30 for a 1gm packet.

The packet states it is an R18+ premium bath salt. It gives no list of ingredients but says "The Finest Quality Bath Salts to liven up Any Bath Experience. May cause increased Energy Levels and Alertness ... Not for human consumption.''

Mr Cameron said it was designed as a cocaine-style party pill that  you could put in to a drink and he believed it was popular because of the novelty idea of a new product. "Lots of people got excited about it. It was definitely of interest.''

A Queenstown man who sampled the product a month ago said he sniffed it like a line of cocaine and he thought a gram of Mr Asia's Yay-yo would probably last two people an entire evening.  It made him feel energetic and talk a lot.

Queenstown police detective Grant Miller said he had not  heard of Mr Asia's Yay-yo but it was  likely to be a brand name of a designer party pill drug which might or might not be illegal depending on its makeup.

A designer drug was a product that was chemically engineered to get around existing drug laws.

"The public should be aware that even if you've purchased a product, you should check the ingredients to get a better understanding of what you're taking.''

National Poisons Centre director Wayne Temple said the organisation had not heard of Mr Asia Yay-yo but often products were imported under the radar before the Ministry of Health and police found out and took them off the market.

A New Zealand Customs Service spokesman said they had not heard anything about the substance. 

"There have been other substances purporting to be `legal cocaine', some of which turned out to be analogues of controlled drugs, but other 'legal highs' do contain uncontrolled substances that we are familiar with.''

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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