What Is Versed?

Versed is a brand-name drug. The generic name is midazolam, prescribed for sedation before procedures, as anesthesia, to help with sleep problems and to treat severe agitation. This powerful drug is a benzodiazepine. Versed causes patients to feel sleepy and less anxious, and they are temporarily unable to form new memories. Versed can also be used to treat seizures. There are several different forms of the medication. It can be given intravenously or injected into the muscle, by a nose spray or through the cheek. Depending on how it’s administered, Versed usually starts working very quickly. The effects of Versed can last anywhere from one to six hours. Versed side effects can include low blood pressure, sleepiness and reduced respiration.

While there are side effects and risks of Versed, the World Health Organization names it on their List of Essential Medicines. The medications on this list are highlighted as being among the safest and most effective in a health system. In the U.S., Versed is a Schedule IV drug. This is the same as other benzodiazepines. According to the DEA, a Schedule IV drug is one with medical uses but one that also has the potential for misuse. In most places around the world, Versed and generic midazolam are controlled substances.

Versed Abuse

All benzodiazepines have the potential for misuse, addiction and dependence, despite how commonly they’re used. Benzos are prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders, seizure disorders, sleep problems and insomnia, and for alcohol and drug withdrawal. While they’re safe in the short-term, they’re not long-term medications. The longer someone uses a medication like Versed or another benzo, the more likely misuse and addiction are to occur. All benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system by increasing the effects of the GABA neurotransmitter. This calms neural activity, leading to a sense of relaxation or sedation. Some people may experience euphoria or a pleasant sense of well-being. These are feelings that can give rise to the development of addiction.

While Versed abuse doesn’t necessarily mean someone is addicted to this medication, misuse does increase the likelihood of addiction. Versed abuse refers to a scenario when someone is using this drug outside of prescription instructions. This could include taking it without a prescription, using it recreationally, using it for longer than prescribed or taking larger doses than prescribed. Addiction is a diagnosable brain disease, in which the use of Versed is out of control of the individual. There are specific symptoms of Versed addiction, such as drug-seeking behaviors and being unable to stop using the medication.

Versed Addiction

With Versed misuse, the individual’s brain chemistry is changed as a result of continual exposure. In the process of affecting GABA, neural pathways are changed. These changes can lead to addiction. Along with addiction, dependence is also possible. Dependence means that someone’s brain and body depend on the presence of a substance after chronic exposure. Benzodiazepine dependence can happen very quickly — often within just a few weeks of using these drugs.

Many complications and risks can stem from Versed addiction and misuse. For example, addiction can lead to family, financial and legal problems. Untreated Versed misuse and addiction can also increase the risk for polysubstance misuse problems and overdose. Polysubstance misuse is common with benzodiazepines because people combine them with other things to get more of an effect. Common combinations include benzodiazepines and opioids or alcohol. All of these substances are central nervous system depressants, and used together, they can cause fatal overdoses.

For anyone struggling with Versed addiction or misuse, or any substance misuse, help is available. Contact The Recovery Village to learn more about addiction treatment options and recovery.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.