‘Progress is greater than perfection’

Hope Beelman, IV Leader Editor

Rachel Edgcomb, Care Coordinator at The Perfectly Flawed Foundation, emphasized how the use of labels such as criminal or addict can be extremely hurtful to those suffering with drug use. During the third One Book, One College discussion on Eric Eyre’s Death in Mud Lick, she shared her experience with clients and the emotions they felt when she explained to them that they are individuals with real stories, not just harmful labels.

“When we give them a label, they’re easy to dismiss,” Edgcomb mentioned. “It’s much easier to label an individual as a criminal than it is to think that these corporations are criminal.”

IVCC Librarian Jayna Leipart Guttilla also helped guide the discussion alongside Edgcomb. The facilitators and participants were joined by Founder and Executive Director of The Perfectly Flawed Foundation, Luke Tomsha, as he shared his experiences and opinions on the prompts.

“A drug-free world is never going to exist, but we can put measures in place to prevent the damage and the death,” Tomsha elaborated when responding to the first prompt.

A participant mentioned that they see individuals who use drugs as victims of corporate greed. They referred to doctors and their willingness to overprescribe which may lead to addiction among many.

Prompts discussed by participants focused on the awareness of legislators, an analogy in the book comparing pharmaceutical companies to drug cartels in Mexico, offering services and treatments outside the criminal justice system, and the importance of educating law enforcement to understand what people experience.

Edgcomb also spoke on a current experience with a Perfectly Flawed Foundation participant in drug court as it related to the discussion prompt at hand.

“It is a band-aid on a very serious issue that doesn’t solve it and ultimately the entire system does need to be changed,” explained a participant when referring to the effectiveness of drug court.

Tomsha explained that law enforcement lacks the medical and mental health training to handle instances of drug overdose while a participant provided examples of alternative positions that may be of more help including social workers and addiction experts.

At the beginning of the discussion, Tomsha stated, “Progress is greater than perfection.”

For more information on the foundation, visit perfectlyflawed.org. The Perfectly Flawed Foundation can be contacted by call or text at (815) 830-8675 or by email at [email protected].