Many people who use Xanax describe its effects as being calming. Unlike drugs that elicit feelings of euphoria, Xanax renders users more relaxed and quieter. Many people who use Xanax in a safe and prescribed manner tend not to experience side effects or only do so when they first start taking it.

Unpleasant side effects tend to occur when the dosage is increased or it is consumed inappropriately. Taking the drug may cause poor concentration, confusion, a lack of coordination and muscle weakness.

If someone consumes too much Xanax or it is taken with other substances, particularly alcohol, they may experience shallow breathing and a weak heartbeat. In an effort to chase its initial effect, an individual may raise the dose to such a level that it results in a coma or death by overdose.

Long-term use of Xanax can cause depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties and sleep problems. Ironically, as dependency increases, feelings of panic and anxiety may heighten as cravings kick in and an addict is faced with the stress of trying to get hold of more of the drug.

When someone spends a disproportionate amount of time procuring and using the drug, alarm bells should ring. Similarly, asking others for pills or purchasing them on the street is risky, red flag behaviour.

Someone with a Xanax problem may begin to miss work commitments or may repeatedly fail to meet family responsibilities. An increase in tolerance due to overuse will likely result in higher and higher dosages, cravings and an inability to stop taking it.