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Versed (Midazolam) Addiction: Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment

versed and midazolam injection

What is Versed (Midazolam)?

Versed (midazolam) is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat children and adults before anesthesia or a procedure. It can also be used to treat seizures. Versed is a central nervous system depressant that causes drowsiness, decreases anxiety, and produces short-term memory loss. Scientists believe this drug works by increasing the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.1

Versed can be administered as an injection, a tablet, or a syrup. It should always be administered by medical professionals in a monitored setting because it can sometimes cause severe breathing problems.2 Research shows it is about two to four times as potent as diazepam.3

The general side effects of Versed, such as loss of memory, coordination problems, and drowsiness, can last from one to two days, so activities like driving or going to work will have to wait until you are feeling normal again.

You should also tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications before he or she administers Versed. Taking midazolam with any other central nervous system depressants like medications, illegal drugs, or herbal products can produce dangerous or life-threatening side effects.4

Versed (midazolam) is listed on the World Health Organization’s 2019 List of Essential Medicines but it is also classified as a Schedule IV drug in the United States, which means it has medical uses but it still has the potential to be misused.5,6

Slang for Versed

The following terms are street names or slang for benzodiazepines like Versed:7

  • Benzos
  • Downers
  • Nerve pills
  • Tranks

About Versed (Midazolam) Abuse and Addiction

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 5.4 million Americans ages 12 or older misused prescription benzodiazepines like Versed in the past year.8

Versed is rarely used outside of a clinical setting, although it may sometimes be prescribed for treatment of acute seizures or schizophrenia. Like many other benzodiazepines, it is safe and effective when it is used correctly. However, if it is misused in any way, it can be very dangerous. This includes using Versed without a prescription, using it recreationally, or using it with other drugs or alcohol.

Versed is not intended to be taken on a long-term basis, so if you abuse it regularly, the more likely you are to become addicted. Compared to other prescription drugs, benzodiazepines can be particularly addictive because they typically produce feelings of relaxation, sedation,  and well-being. Some people also experience feelings of euphoria, which can foster chronic abuse of Versed and eventually, addiction.

Chronic exposure of Versed can change your brain chemistry over time, leading to dependence and addiction within a matter of weeks or months. People who misuse Versed are also very likely to use it with other prescription benzodiazepines, opioids, or alcohol to enhance its effects. Although this is a common practice, it can increase the risk of addiction and fatal overdose.

Side Effects of Versed (Midazolam) Abuse

It can be difficult to tell when someone is abusing Versed, but common side effects of Versed (midazolam) abuse are similar to those produced by high doses of other prescription drugs, such as:9

  • Grogginess
  • Drowsiness
  • Severe lack of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory loss
  • Slow breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches

Signs and Symptoms of Versed (Midazolam) Abuse and Addiction

Signs that someone may be abusing Versed often include:

  • Using Versed without a prescription
  • Using Versed with other prescription drugs or alcohol
  • Abrupt changes in mood or appearance
  • Abnormal behavior that disrupts relationships and performance at school or work
  • Sudden financial problems

Symptoms of Versed (midazolam) addiction include:

  • Being obsessed with getting more Versed and using it
  • Chronic, unsuccessful attempts to cut back or stop using Versed
  • Taking larger or more frequent doses of Versed than necessary
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after Versed cessation
  • Craving Versed
  • Needing larger doses of Versed to achieve the desired effects
  • Having physical or emotional problems related to Versed abuse but continuing to misuse it anyway
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Versed Detox and Withdrawal

Like other benzodiazepines, chronic abuse of Versed can cause uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Although withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, common Versed withdrawal symptoms include:10

  • Excessive sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Upset stomach
  • Hand tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Transient visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations or illusions
  • Anxiety
  • Psychomotor agitation (such as pacing around the room, rapid talking, or tapping toes)
  • Grand mal seizures

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be especially severe, so medical experts always recommend detoxing under medical and clinical supervision. If you are addicted to Versed, completing a benzodiazepine detox program at a medical detox center is the safest and most effective way to stop using it.

Versed Withdrawal Timeline

The Versed withdrawal timeline can vary and is affected by factors like how long you used Versed, whether you used any other drugs in combination with Versed, and how much Versed you took each time. Your individual physiology, diet, and the method you used to quit Versed will also affect the duration and severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

6-8 hours after the last dose Early withdrawal symptoms may appear, including anxiety or insomnia.
2 days after the last dose Withdrawal symptoms typically peak and are at their worst and can include sweating, hand tremors, palpitations, hallucinations, seizures, and more.
5 days after the last dose The most severe withdrawal symptoms wane but some, like anxiety, may persist if left untreated.

Treatment for Versed (Midazolam) Addiction

If you are addicted to Versed, you may feel hopeless but you can get sober with the right treatment and support. The first step in the addiction treatment process is medical detox. After detox, a long-term inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program can help you achieve long-lasting sobriety and genuine recovery.

During rehab for Versed addiction, you will work with a treatment team of medical doctors, addiction treatment specialists, and clinical therapists to address the root causes of your addiction, make positive life changes, and gain life skills that will help you maintain your sobriety.

Although every rehab center is different, a high-quality comprehensive treatment program that claims to be evidence-based will typically consist of:

Inpatient Drug Rehab vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab for Versed Addiction

While you are searching for a drug rehab program for Versed addiction, it’s helpful to know the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment. The chart below outlines some of the main differences.

In residential rehab, clients:

  • Live on-site at the rehab center while they complete treatment
  • Maintain a structured daily schedule
  • Attend daily counseling sessions and recovery-oriented activities
  • Participate in peer activities
  • Have access to on-site clinical and medical care 24/7

In outpatient rehab, clients:

  • Attend outpatient group meetings at a clinical location
  • Live at home or at a sober living house
  • Complete recovery-related assignments independently
  • Maintain personal obligations at home, school, and work while completing treatment

Call Nova Recovery Center today to speak with an admissions specialist about your drug rehab treatment options. We can help you determine which type of treatment is right for you based on the severity of your Versed addiction, your history with substance abuse, and your individual needs and circumstances.

The cost of drug rehab programs varies greatly too, depending on the type of program you choose, its location, the services that are offered, and its amenities. Generally, most rehab centers offer several different payment options to help you cover the cost. You may consider using one or more of the following options to pay for drug rehab:

Continued Care Options for Versed Addiction Treatment

After you complete drug rehab, you may also want to continue your addiction treatment with a continuing care program such as sober living or aftercare. These types of programs are designed to help people in recovery overcome obstacles in early sobriety and maintain their recovery.

Sober Living Programs

Sober living homes provide safe, stable, and substance-free housing for men and women in recovery. These homes are often gender-specific and are typically located in quiet, residential neighborhoods.

Residents of sober living homes are expected to follow community rules and expectations, including a strict no drug or alcohol policy. These types of recovery residences also frequently provide recovery support services to help residents secure a stable and sober life, such as:

  • Structured recovery programming
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Educational planning
  • Employment assistance
  • Volunteer placement
  • Peer monitoring programs

The cost of a sober living program will vary depending on the home’s location, amenities, and services offered. However, payment is typically collected monthly.

Aftercare Programs

Aftercare programs are recovery support programs designed for alumni of drug rehab programs. They consist of a series of outpatient meetings hosted in a clinical setting. Clients are encouraged to share their personal issues, feedback, and offer support to their peers in conversation related to sobriety. Some people also use aftercare meetings as a weekly “check-in” to remain accountable to their peers.

 

If you are addicted to Versed, there is help available for you. Call (512) 605-2955 today to speak to a representative at Nova Recovery Center about your treatment options.

 

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-16693/versed-oral/details
  2. https://reference.medscape.com/drug/seizalam-versed-dsc-midazolam-342907#5
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3319363
  4. https://www.pfizer.com/products/product-detail/midazolam
  5. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/325771/WHO-MVP-EMP-IAU-2019.06-eng.pdf?ua=1
  6. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/c_cs_alpha.pdf
  7. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/benzo.pdf
  8. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf
  9. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/benzodiazepine-abuse
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007645/pdf/i2168-9709-6-3-120.pdf
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