Stages of Change-Half Nelson – Addiction Example

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"Stages of Change-Half Nelson" is an excellent example of a paper on addiction. From the beginning, Dan Dunne is portrayed as a man with the potential of creating change in society particularly in the school where he works as a coach for the basketball team. With this is in mind, Dunne abandons all manners of historical teachings in his lessons and settles for the philosophy behind historical events with the focus being the concept of dialectics. This suggests that he may be in the dependence stage, which is likely to have caused his spite for the conventional curriculum mentioned above (Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County, n.d. ).

People in this stage tend to fail in the fulfillment of responsibilities and duties in life and work such as neglect. This puts him in a difficult situation with his superiors due to his decision to violate the preset curriculum. However, the above works towards his own good with his students. This is because he captures their imagination in the classroom to achieve more. Daniel Dunnes undergoes social and moral changes based on the situation and circumstances that face him concerning his character when in the classroom and when he is out on the basketball courts, as well as out of the school situation when he is not a teacher.

When in the classroom, he acts as an inspiration for his students through holding the conventional curriculum and teaching methods in spite. It is also based on his goals as a teacher to teach and change the society of the less fortunate coming from vulnerable, minority societies. The principle, in this case, being to teach students how to apply what they learn in school to their daily life, however, his role in the classroom is a grim contrast to the other aspects of his life outside it. The wave of change hits Dunnes when he is in the locker room by one of his students abusing drugs, or rather being a junkie.

One of the players catches him, which creates a completely new atmosphere for him in the classroom, playground, and social life, as he is unable to maintain his role model image. With his secret out to Drey, the student, a friendship develops due to the inability of both persons being unable to put up with their own lives.

In addition, friendship is used as a means to escape from the reality of their individual lives. With Drey’ s life being a mess, Dan takes responsibility for her by drawing her away from the one person who protects her, a drug dealer. The dealer looks after Drey since Drey’ s brother pushed drugs for him. However, Dan’ s attempt to take the moral high ground in directing and salvaging Drey’ s life is challenged by his habit a drug user. Interventions are made by different characters in the movie to help him quit doing drugs; these include rehabilitation that his girlfriend underwent successfully.

However, Dan believes that rehabilitation will not work for him because his ex-girlfriend, who underwent rehabilitation, is about to get married and he finds the issue too difficult with which to cope. There are not many other interventions except Drey’ s disapproval for his attempt to keep, her away from the drug dealer guardian and buying drugs from the same dealer. At the end of the movie, Dan is in the addiction stage following his inability to desist from drug use and the consequent involvement in the progressive purchase of drugs from Drey’ s guardian.

Dan being caught by Drey in the room smoking cocaine further evidence this (Emerson, 2006); therefore, to correct the situation, forced rehabilitation might be the only intervention to save Dan from his self-degrading addiction.  


Emerson, J. (2006). Half Nelson (R). Retrieved from

Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County. (n.d). Stages of Substance Abuse. Retrieved from

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