Ozempic & Addiction

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Has big pharma accidentally discovered a cure for addiction?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t consume any media without hearing about this new miracle weight loss drug, Ozempic.

How can a medication designed for blood sugar and weight management also work its magic on addiction? 


That’s exactly what we’re going to unravel today. 

I want to shed some light on the latest research, expert insights, and the buzz it’s creating among doctors and scientists alike.


Before we dive in, let me be clear – I’m not advocating for a quick fix or a magic pill here.

My mission here is to keep you informed, inspired, and excited about the endless possibilities that science continues to unveil.

ozempic & addiction

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is a Semaglutide?
  • Belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists
  • Mimics a hormone known as GLP-1
  • Regulates blood sugar levels and reduces appetite
  • Used as an injectable medication to treat type-2 diabetes & obesity

You may know this drug best under one of its many pharmaceutical names.

  • Ozempic
  • Wegovy
  • Rybelsus
  • PhenQ

Just to name a few.

ozempic & addiction

Ozempic’s Evolution

While the Ozempic craze has only been in the news a few months, semaglutide has been on the market for years.

  • Developed and marketed by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company specializing in diabetes care
  • Approved by the FDA as a type-2 diabetes treatment in December, 2017
  • FDA approved for chronic weight loss management in June, 2021 under the brand name Wegovy, as a higher dosage
  • Intended for use in adults with obesity or who are overweight with at least one weight-related comorbidity

Now researchers at the NIH are reporting that semaglutide reduces the desire to consume alcohol, at least in rodent studies…


Effects of Semaglutide

How does GLP-1 work?

  • Lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating the release of insulin and reducing the production of glucagon
  • Mimicking this hormone reduces appetite and promotes a feeling of fullness after eating

Drug benefits

  • Effective Weight Loss
  • Improved Satiety
  • Better Glucose Control
  • Potential Cardiovascular Benefits
  • Positive Impact on Other Health Markers
  • Convenience of Once-Weekly Dosing
  • Psychological Well-Being
  • Potential Long-Term Benefits
    • Weight loss achieved with semaglutide can be sustained over the long term with continued use and adherence to a healthy lifestyle

Hot tip: Treatment often includes lifestyle counseling and support, helping individuals build healthier habits that can be sustained beyond medication use.

Potential side effects 

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • General abdominal pain
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions

Recommended to avoid semaglutide if you have…

  • History of medullary thyroid cancer
  • History of gallbladder disease
  • History of pancreatitis 
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)

Recently, it’s shown some superhero potential in a completely unexpected area. 

Researchers and medical experts have been uncovering evidence that semaglutide might just be the secret weapon in the fight against addiction.


Semaglutide Against Addiction

The drug impacts appetite and satiety, but some users say taking it has actually curtailed their desire to smoke, gamble, and drink alcohol as well.

According to Heath Schmidt (neuropharmacologist, PA) addictive drugs such as cocaine and opioids are generally thought to “hijack” the brain’s natural reward pathways. 

Over time, the brain needs more and more dopamine to function, leading to addiction.

The brain has a number of centers with GLP receptors. These receptors have also been linked to reward and addiction properties. (Gareth Nye – PhD, England)

Researchers are now repeating the experiments in rats addicted to opioids or fentanyl. 

One Important Study

The largest human trial completed so far tested exenatide, an earlier GLP-1 agonist drug that is no longer widely used

  • Included 127 people with alcohol use disorder
  • People who received exenatide—which works similarly to semaglutide—displayed less activity in the brain’s reward centers when shown pictures of alcohol 
  • Only participants with obesity ended up drinking significantly less than their peers who received a placebo.

If this continues to prove true, drug makers could stand to make billions when you consider that more than 29 million Americans had alcohol-use disorder in 2021.

ozempic & addiction

Most professionals agree that, at this point, there isn’t enough research to definitively say semaglutide is capable of fighting addiction.

W. Kyle Simmons, a pharmacist in Oklahoma made the following remark..

“It’s too early to say whether people recovering from addiction would need to take a GLP-1 agonist for the rest of their lives, like people with diabetes do, or whether these drugs could be short-term treatments that curb cravings long enough for people to make lifestyle changes to stay sober.”


Addiction is a complex battle, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. 

But staying informed about new discoveries, like semaglutide’s potential role, might open up new possibilities and spark conversations with your healthcare providers.

As always, I’m all about research, evidence, and empowering you to make informed decisions about your health.


If you want to hear a few celebrities give their honest take on using semaglutide, you’ve gotta listen to episode #1006 of The Chalene Show


Here’s why you want to listen to episode #1006 – Ozempic & Addiction
  • More information on semaglutide research
  • Learn which celebrities and influencers have openly endorsed semaglutide for their rapid weight loss, 
  • Insight from addiction expert, Dr. Lorenzo Leggio
  • Ongoing debates surrounding its efficacy, potential side effects, and long-term outcomes. 

This drug may offer a viable solution for obesity and addictive behavior, but it is important to make an informed decision with research and consulting medical professionals before considering semaglutide.


Check out the following links for more weight loss tips information…

TCS #979 – Do These 10 Things to Lose Weight over 40

TCS #868 – Why Are We Obsessed with Weight?

TCS #842 – Tried Everything and I Can’t Lose Weight | with Dr. Mary Claire Haver

TCS #752 – Gut Health, Inflammation, and Weight Gain

Why Weight Fluctuates Even When Your Diet & Exercise Hasn’t Changed – Blog


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