Obesity is a continuing problem in this country. Quick access to processed foods, lack of physical activity and poverty are reasons why people being overweight have become one of the biggest health issues facing our society.

In the latest government report, it was estimated that 63.8% of adults are overweight or struggling with obesity. This is not a problem that is going to go away and is likely to get worse. According to a study by Cancer Research, by 2040 more than 42 million adults will be overweight in the UK. The current overall population is around 68 million.

Beyond eating well and regular exercise, some people may need more help to get and maintain a healthy body. In this modern age, pharmacological solutions are becoming more the norm.

One such drug is Ozempic. This drug has hit the news cycle due to its apparent success at helping people with diabetes and weight loss, but also how it relates to addiction issues.

Before going forward with taking any prescription drug, it’s important to know all the correct facts about it – is Ozempic safe? Can it be addictive? What are the benefits and dangers?

These are important things to know because even drugs designed to help can be addictive and cause enough damage that you need to go to rehab for prescription drug addiction.


What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name for a drug called Semaglutide that is used to help people with type 2 diabetes. It can also be effective in helping people manage weight loss. It is a drug that is injected via a pre-filled injection pen.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where a person’s blood sugar levels, or glucose, become too high. If you are overweight or inactive then you are much more likely to become type 2 diabetic.

Ozempic works by mimicking glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone in the body that lowers blood sugar levels. It does this by helping insulin release from the pancreas, slowing down glucose absorption and reducing glucagon production.

It works regarding weight loss as it can reduce your appetite, the hormone level rises it induces satiety in your brain – making you feel full if you might not be. It also slows down the movement of food in your gut – which means you stay full for longer than you normally might.


Is Ozempic Addictive?

Though Ozempic and similar drugs are being treated in some corners as the answer to weight problems, there are some concerns.

First off are the side effects that come with the drug. Common side effects of Ozempic include constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Other mild side effects are the changes in how things taste, flatulence, fatigue and indigestion.

Due to Ozempic’s impact on glucose levels, there is a risk that it can cause hypoglycaemia – dangerously low blood sugar. It also has the danger of potentially causing pancreatitis, kidney problems and a severe allergic reaction.

The biggest question though is, “Is Ozempic addictive?”. The simple answer is that no, it doesn’t seem to be. This may change as more about the drug becomes known and we see longer-term effects. Ozempic is not the type of medication that causes addiction and there are no withdrawal symptoms from it.

Other drugs that cause weight loss such as cocaine, heroin and meth are highly addictive and illegal. Ozempic is not like these and in a controlled regime seems to have a positive impact on people’s lives. If you are worried about addiction though, it is important to be aware of warning signs of addiction before the situation worsens.


Clinical Insights on Ozempic’s Addictive Potential

There has been very little exploration into whether Semaglutide (Ozempic) could be addictive. On the flip side, Ozempic has become more widely known due to its apparent usefulness in curbing addiction.

The drug could still be misused though. In an article by Stefania Chiappini, she stated that “semaglutide may possess the potential to be misused as a weight-loss IPED agent.” If you are seeking Ozempic for purely weight loss reasons then you may create an unhealthy relationship with food and drug. Psychologically, you could become addicted to the effect the drug has on you – using it as a crutch rather than making proper lifestyle changes.

The drug could exacerbate existing mental health disorders as Iceland health regulators have some people reported having suicidal thoughts whilst using the drug.


The Role of Ozempic in Treatment Regimens

Ozempic will be prescribed only if you suffer from type 2 diabetes. It is available via the NHS and can only be accessed if you have a prescription. Beyond having type 2 diabetes, there are other criteria you may have to meet. If treatment with metformin isn’t considered appropriate and your BMI is 30 or over then this will make you more likely eligible.

Ozempic can be self-administered, and it must be done once a week on the same day. The max recommended dose is 2mg. You will regularly have check-ups with your doctor as part of your treatment plan.

This drug is not a silver bullet for weight loss. People who stop using it without any drastic lifestyle changes find they regain nearly all the weight they lost. Only alongside exercising more and eating better can Ozempic contribute to managing diabetes and helping weight loss.


Guidelines for Safe Use of Ozempic

Ozempic addiction is not likely, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be misused. Safe use of any prescription drug is important to ensure you are getting what you need out of it and decreasing any potential risks.

Monitoring – staying on top of your condition and Ozempic use is important. Being aware of glucose levels and potential physical changes will help you avert any serious issues.

Dosage Adjustment – never change how much Ozempic you inject without the knowledge of your doctor. They will prescribe the smallest amount that gives you the desired effect.

Signs of Misuse – be aware of your behaviour and relationship with Ozempic. Signs of addiction and dependence can be hard to spot but being vigilant will ensure the situation doesn’t get any worse for you.


As of 2024, Ozempic isn’t available in the UK if you are seeking it to lose weight. To now gain access to Ozempic you must be suffering from poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. The alternative Wegovy is now available as a weight loss management drug in the UK.

This action has had to be taken due to increased off-label use. This brought about a worldwide shortage of the drug so people who needed it couldn’t get access. When you are taking prescription drugs for anything other than its express purpose, this is a big thing you need to think about.

People need Ozempic for serious medical issues. If you only want it to help lose weight then it is best to look elsewhere.


Find Support Today

Ozempic is in its early days, medically speaking, but it has great value in helping to manage diabetes and weight loss. Ozempic addiction does not seem to be a major concern physically but it could contribute to other issues that encourage addictive style behaviours. You need to always be informed and cautious when using any drug, even if it is prescribed.

Prescription drug abuse is just as dangerous as other forms of addiction and support is available. Addiction Advocates is a referral service that can help you get the treatment you need to rid yourself of addiction and deal with mental health problems.

For more information, get in touch today by calling us at 0800 012 6088.


  • [1] estimated that 63.8% of adults are overweight or struggling with obesity - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/obesity-profile-update-may-2023/obesity-profile-short-statistical-commentary-may-2023
  • [2] semaglutide may possess the potential to be misused as a weight-loss IPED agent - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10384093/