Steven Taylor tosses the metaphor in the rubbish bin:
Fossil fuels, for all their problems, produce a huge amount of benefit in ways that dependence on drugs or alcohol do not. Our dependence on oil is not like an addiction to a drug, but rather it is more like our need for blood in our circulatory systems or oxygen in our respiratory systems. We aren’t giving up either unless something just as efficacious is going to take their places.
...I do understand what the shorthand being deployed here by multiple persons is supposed to be. However, it is a turn of phrase that has continually bothered me, as I think it inaccurately diagnoses the problem that we face. Curing an addiction, difficult as it undoubtedly is, can be done. Indeed, it is done all the time. However, we are not going to simply stop using oil, either cold turkey or through a twelve step program.