Can Mounjaro and Wegovy help with alcohol addiction?

Learn more about the potential of Mounjaro and Wegovy in addressing alcohol addiction.
Habitual Team
min read
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Quick summary

There are many well-documented uses for Mounjaro and Wegovy when it comes to managing health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. However, scientists and healthcare professionals are continuing to discover new ways to use these medications.

For example, while studies are still ongoing, there is evidence to suggest that Mounjaro and Wegovy could be used to treat addiction to substances such as alcohol. This could mean that they play a pivotal role in the lives of those looking to combat not only alcohol addiction but also obesity/weight gain.

In this article, we'll explore the link between alcohol consumption and weight gain, alongside providing you with insight into the current studies exploring alcohol addiction and Mounjaro and Wegovy.

The link between alcohol and weight gain.

Many adults living in the UK consume alcohol on a regular basis. For example, a 2022 study found that 55% of men and 42% of women drank at least once a week. [1] While light-to-moderate alcohol intake is not typically associated with weight gain, higher levels of consumption are. [2]

There are various studies in place exploring the potential link between alcohol consumption and weight gain, especially among those who would be considered heavy drinkers.

For example, one study found that, when compared to non-drinkers, those consuming more than 5 drinks a day had a [3]:

  • Greater BMI (+4.8%)
  • Higher Fat Mass Index (+20.1%)
  • Greater Waist Circumference (+5%)
  • Higher % Body Fat (+15.2%)

Similarly, a comparative study focusing on alcohol intake and energy consumption found that the risk of obesity was 70% higher in the heaviest drinking group compared to the lightest. [4]

However, it is worth noting that high levels of alcohol consumption do not always result in weight gain, with other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise levels, continuing to play a key role in weight management.

Due to this, it can be difficult to determine whether or not alcohol is a direct cause of weight gain or a contributing factor. For example, alcoholic beverages tend to be high in calories, which could increase an individual's total daily calories and lower their TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). Furthermore, it's reported that heavy drinkers tend to consume higher levels of sodium and fats than non-drinkers. [5]

How do Mounjaro and Wegovy work?

Both Mounjaro (Tirezapatide) and Wegovy (Semaglutide) are known for their ability to "quieten food noise" and reduce hunger cravings. This is because both medications mimic the effects of a hormone called GLP-1, which can decrease appetite signals to the brain and delay gastric emptying, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.

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How could this help with addiction?

As mentioned above, there is anecdotal evidence that Wegovy, Mounjaro and other similar drugs can be used in the treatment of addiction by helping to reduce cravings.

For example, a recent study found that GLP-1 receptor agonists (the class of drug to which both Wegovy and Mounjaro belong) have been proven to reduce alcohol consumption in rodents. [6]

This research has also shown promising results with other addictive substances, which would point towards the medication's effects on the brain.  Studies on humans with alcohol dependency are yet to be completed but are ongoing. 

In a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 127 participants who were all seeking treatment for alcohol dependency, it was found that while GLP-1-receptor agonists "did not significantly reduce the number of heavy drinking days compared with placebo," but it did "significantly reduce" heavy drinking days and alcohol intake in obese patients with a BMI of over 30 kg/m2. [7]

A 2023 study focusing primarily on how Semaglutide and Tirzepatide influence alcohol intake among those dealing with obesity reported a reduction in [8]:

  • The number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week
  • Binge drinking episodes
  • AUDIT Score (harmful alcohol consumption screening tool)
  • The symptoms of intoxication 

While further research is necessary into this topic, and there are many ongoing studies, the hypothesis is that the GLP-1 receptors in the brain are closely linked to those involved with addiction, and the dopamine signalling for those with obesity and addiction may overlap. This strongly suggests that these medications could play a role in addiction treatment moving forward.

Ongoing Studies.

There are few (publicised) ongoing studies into the use of Mounjaro and Wegovy to treat alcohol addiction. However, researchers at Virginia Tech, alongside the Addiction Recovery Research Center, are currently recruiting individuals from the local area to participate in further studies. [9]


The potential of Mounjaro and Wegovy in treating alcohol addiction is a promising area of research. However, further studies, particularly long-term clinical trials, are necessary to understand their effectiveness and safety fully when used this way.

Furthermore, there are many changes that individuals struggling with their alcohol intake can implement in order to improve their health and well-being. This includes actively reducing their alcohol intake or attending specialist support groups. Healthcare professionals will also be able to provide them with specifically tailored advice when it comes to alcohol consumption, weight management and more. 

If you'd like to find out more about weight loss programmes, please do not hesitate to contact us today.


[1] Alcohol Consumption UK. Drink Aware UK. Retrieved 15 July 2024. Accessible here

[2] Traversy, G., & Chaput, J. P. (2015) Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Current obesity reports 4(1)P122-130. Accessible here.

[3] Coulson, C. E., Williams, L. J., Brennan, S. L., et al. (2013). Alcohol consumption and body composition in a population-based sample of elderly Australian men. Aging clinical and experimental research, 25(2)P183–192. Accessible here.

[4] Traversy, G., & Chaput, J. P. (2015) Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Current obesity reports 4(1)P122-130. Accessible here.

[5] FAQs about Alcohol Consumption and Weight Gain. Renaissance School of Medicine. Retrieved 17 June 2024. Accessible here.

[6] Klausen, M. K., Thomsen, M., Wortwein, G., & Fink-Jensen, A. (2022). The role of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) in addictive disorders. British journal of pharmacology, 179(4)P625–641. Accessible here.

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