Watching the Kelowna city council election reminds me of a prevalent problem in our society. None of us know what we’re talking about.
My main example is the involuntary care debate. If you ask actual psychologists and those who actively work in addiction management, they will tell you that involuntary care does not work.
Addiction is an illness, and there is usually a cause to it, whether it be psychological, physical, etc. To treat addiction, you need to treat the cause of it, and as someone who has worked with the homeless in Kelowna, I can say somewhat confidently that many of them would choose drugs over facing their demons.
Now, I don’t have a degree in psychology or work in addiction management. So when I was curious about if this is a viable solution, you know what I did? I asked someone who knows what they are talking about, a real addictions counsellor.
I looked up the history of drug treatment and what does and does not work. That took 20 minutes out of my day. Imagine what could get done if elected officials stopped opening their mouths to give opinions on things they don’t understand and actually used the resources they are given.
Maybe then they would focus on the structural changes needed to fight addiction—better access to mental health services, changes in the health care system to avoid addiction stemming from workplace accidents and injuries and more support for the adoption and foster care system. These are things experts have been saying for years.
This is a pattern. It happened with COVID and all the people who became armchair immunologists.
Traffic congestion is a problem so everyone becomes a civil engineer and explains what needs to happen to the roads.
We, as the general public, have opinions about these things. It’s time to stop pretending our opinions are fact and start listening to the people who have devoted their lives to give us the answers most people ignore.