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Learn more about Novu Wellness and our trauma-informed mental health programs.

Novu Wellness understands that individuals with concurrent mental health and substance use disorders require a comprehensive approach tailored to their unique needs. Our highly trained professionals are dedicated to providing personalized care and support throughout their recovery journey through our dual diagnosis treatment in Atlanta.

At Novu Wellness, our mental health facilities in Georgia can help you or a loved one create the pathway needed to recover. Call us now at 706-740-9005.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis Disorder?

A dual diagnosis disorder, or co-occurring disorder, is the presence of both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder. This can include various combinations such as depression and alcohol addiction, anxiety and drug abuse, or bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction.

Dual diagnosis disorders are complex and interconnected conditions that often exacerbate one another. They can significantly impact an individual’s overall well-being, functioning, relationships, and quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of a Dual Diagnosis Disorder

Signs and symptoms of a dual diagnosis disorder vary depending on the specific mental health condition and substance use disorder. However, some common indicators to look out for are:

  • Changes in behavior: Sudden shifts in mood, withdrawal from social activities or relationships, increased irritability or agitation.
  • Difficulty managing daily responsibilities: Struggling with work or school obligations, neglecting personal hygiene and self-care.
  • Physical health problems: Unexplained weight loss or gain, sleep disturbances, chronic pain, frequent headaches.
  • Increased tolerance and cravings: Needing larger amounts of substances to achieve the same effect, experiencing strong urges or cravings for drugs or alcohol.
  • Mental health symptoms: Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, panic attacks, intense mood swings, hallucinations, and delusions.
  • Financial and legal problems: Engaging in reckless behaviors to support substance abuse habits, facing legal consequences related to drug or alcohol use.
  • Relationship difficulties: Strained relationships with family members, friends, or partners due to erratic behavior, lying about substance use, and neglecting responsibilities.
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Causes of Dual Diagnosis Disorder

Dual diagnosis disorders can have multiple causes, and they often stem from a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors, such as:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Research suggests that certain individuals may have a genetically inherited vulnerability to mental health conditions and substance use disorders, making them more susceptible.
  • Trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Individuals who have experienced trauma or significant stress during childhood, such as abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence, are at higher risk for developing mental health and substance use disorders later in life.
  • Self-medication: Some individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of an underlying mental health condition. As such, this can lead to dependence and addiction. 
  • Interplay Between Brain Chemistry and Substance Use: Substance abuse can disrupt natural brain chemistry, impacting neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood, impulse control, and reward mechanisms. This disruption can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health issues.
  • Social and Environmental factors: Peer influence, easy accessibility to drugs or alcohol, and stressful environments can all contribute to developing substance use and dual diagnosis disorders.

Why Are Dual Diagnosis Disorders So Common?

Roughly 9.2 million adults have a dual diagnosis disorder, as reported in SAMHSA’s 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They are common due to several interconnected factors. Firstly, mental health conditions and substance use disorders often have a reciprocal relationship, meaning they can trigger or exacerbate one another.

Next, dual diagnosis disorders share risk factors. These overlapping vulnerabilities increase the likelihood of individuals developing mental health and substance use disorders. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse can discourage individuals from seeking help for their conditions.

Another common reason is due to self-medication and coping mechanism: Individuals may turn to substance use to cope with the symptoms of their mental health conditions. Substance abuse can temporarily alleviate distressing emotions or help manage overwhelming thoughts, leading to a cycle of self-medication that reinforces the presence of both disorders.

How Do We Treat Dual Diagnosis Disorders?

Dual diagnosis disorders require a comprehensive and integrated treatment approach that simultaneously addresses both mental health and substance use disorders. At NoVu Wellness, we conduct a thorough assessment to determine the presence of co-occurring disorders.

Then we create an individualized, integrated treatment plan to treat both conditions simultaneously using holistic and evidence-based therapies. We may also utilize psychiatry when medication can benefit the individual and manage their recovery from substance use and mental health disorders.

How Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Atlanta Work?

Our dual diagnosis treatment in Atlanta incorporates a variety of therapeutic modalities to address the unique needs of individuals with co-occurring disorders, including:

  • Individual Therapy: Our skilled therapists provide one-on-one counseling sessions tailored to each client’s specific mental health and addiction concerns. 
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy provides a supportive environment for individuals to connect with others who understand their struggles. These sessions encourage peer support, sharing experiences, and learning from one another. 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is often utilized as an effective treatment approach for individuals with dual diagnosis due to its emphasis on emotional regulation and coping skills development. 
  • Family Therapy: We recognize the importance of involving family members in recovery. Family therapy sessions provide education, support, and communication tools that promote understanding and healthy relationships within the family.

Other Services We Offer

Novu Wellness offers a range of services designed to meet various levels of care, as follows:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Our PHP is an intensive day treatment program that provides structured and comprehensive support for individuals with dual diagnosis disorders. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Our IOP offers flexible scheduling options for individuals transitioning from a higher level of care or who require more support than traditional outpatient treatment can provide.
  • Virtual IOP: We understand that accessing treatment can be challenging for some individuals, which is why we offer a Virtual IOP option. This allows clients to participate in therapy sessions and receive support from the comfort of their own homes using secure online platforms.

Begin Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Atlanta Today

At NoVu Wellness, our goal is to provide comprehensive, evidence-based treatment options that address the unique challenges faced by individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Contact us today to take the first steps to recovery and better mental health with our dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Treatment Philosophy

At Novu Wellness, we believe that each individual suffering deserves mental health recovery. Our specialists work with each client using a trauma-informed approach to help you manage and recover from the symptoms of mental health disorders.

Meet Our Team

Our mental health specialists have years of experience in treating the debilitating symptoms of mental health disorders and can help you live a life full of possibility.