"Dependence," Not "Addiction"


"the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma"


"1. the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like"

I'm getting very tired of the use of the term "addiction" in reference to oil-based energy sources. It's not an addiction, it's a dependence. I realize that the more scary the rhetoric, the better job the politicians think they're doing (Obama included). However, it's time to insist on using proper vocabulary.

An addict can walk away from their addiction and go on with life (obviously withdrawal is painful, but the point is that the addiction is not generally to a necessity of life). Dependence denotes a degree of reliance that is more fundamental. If you were to remove all oil-based fuel sources overnight, we would - as a country - be in a very bad place immediately. In the case of dependency, the thing upon which you are dependent must be replaced or supplanted. In the case of addiction, you can do without.

Know the difference, understand the difference, and reject the over-the-top rhetoric, regardless of your political leanings.

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Tomhave published on August 4, 2008 9:48 PM.

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