The surprising finds on Ozempic for Alcoholism

Is there a potential to use Ozempic for alcoholism? Early studies have shown promising results in using the popular diabetes medication for treating alcohol addiction. Experts and researchers are now studying the benefits and effects of semaglutide for alcohol use disorder. Semaglutide is the generic name for the brand name drug Ozempic. It has recently been on the radar for treating other conditions other than Type 2 diabetes. Some of the side effects of Ozempic include weight loss and the reduction of alcohol consumption. Ozempic has now become one of the most popularly prescribed medications in the United States.  

The prescription medication Ozempic was first approved in 2017 to help people with Type 2 diabetes effectively manage their blood sugar levels. Semaglutide was created to be a synthetic version of the hormone glucagon peptide 1 (GLP-1). The drug works by increasing the levels of incretin, a hormone that helps the body produce more insulin. When GLP-1, a type of incretin hormone, is released into the small intestine, it promotes blood glucose homeostasis. This stabilizes blood sugar levels in the body.

A white and red box of Ozempic representing surprising finds on Ozempic for the treatment of Alcoholism.

In recent studies of patients on Ozempic, researchers are finding that weight loss and craving control are one of the side effects of the drug. In terms of producing weight loss effects, the drug works by reducing appetite by slowing down the movement of food through the gut. This makes a person feel full sooner and over a longer period of time. Eventually, the patient will become less interested in eating resulting in less cravings and significant weight loss.

Ozempic for Addiction to Alcohol and Drugs

Researchers now believe if the medication can make patients less interested in food, it might be able to do the same with alcohol and other addictive substances. Before researchers knew of Ozempic’s ability to reduce alcohol cravings, patients were already reporting a reduction in food and alcohol consumption. Patients reported having the ability to better control their impulses specifically when it came to eating food and drinking alcohol.

Studies have shown that Ozempic has the ability to alter the reward center of the brain. GLP-1 is also produced and released in several areas of the brain. When the hormone reaches the brain’s reward center, it can alter how substances like alcohol and drugs feel in the body. It decreases the reward sensations produced by addictive behaviors such as excessive drinking. Ultimately, making a person feel the opposite of what alcohol normally makes a person feel.

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An estimated 35 million people worldwide suffer from some form of substance use disorder, according to a United Nations publication. According to studies from the World Health Organization, about 280 million people in the world suffer from alcohol use disorder.

With these alarming numbers, the search for effective harm reduction techniques, treatments and medications has become essential in helping those who are diagnosed with an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Currently, there is only a handful of clinical trials studying the effects of GLP-1 type of drugs on the brain and on alcohol addiction. However, the most recent studies have only been tested on animals. These early findings show GLP-1’s potential to break harmful patterns of addiction in the brain. The preliminary findings of animal studies show that semaglutide helped to significantly reduce alcohol and drug intake in rodents. It produced a reduction in cravings and addictive drug-seeking behaviors.

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We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.

Semaglutide for Addiction and Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

Drugs such as Ozempic have also been found to help treat mental health disorders stemming from brain dysregulation. New studies are now looking at the impact of GLP-1 receptors in the brain and how it impacts thinking and cognition. Some patients on Ozempic have reported relief from their existing mental health condition such as major depressive disorder. With this new finding, researchers say Ozempic has the potential to also help treat those with a dual diagnosis.


Hotel California by the Sea is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment program. The behavioral health care provider focuses on individualized treatment and co-occurring mental health conditions. Through various levels of care, men, women and young adults can receive the treatment they need to overcome their addictions.

Unique treatment methods such as CBT, EMDR therapy and family therapy allow clients to fully understand the details of their addiction. By addressing the physical, psychological and emotional aspects of addiction, clients will be able to learn effective coping skills to help them manage uncomfortable feelings associated with addiction.

Hotel California by the Sea offers medication treatments as well as cognitive therapies to help clients gain sobriety. The combination of innovative treatments and the guidance of experienced clinicians will help any loved one suffering from dependency on drugs and alcohol.