Perfectly Flawed founder speaks out on opioid crisis and recovery

Madison Miranda, IV Leader Columnist

Advocating for an imperfect journey to recovery for those who are perfectly flawed. On Feb. 16, Perfectly Flawed Foundation founder Luke Tomsha held a Zoom discussion in partnership with Illinois Valley Community College’s One Book, One College program to speak out on the opioid crisis and his own struggles with opioids.

After years of heroin use, Tomsha touched on his journey from addict to advocate. Tomsha’s friend Ryan had passed away due to a heroin overdose while Tomsha was in rehab. Once learning about his friend’s passing, Tomsha used his time after rehab to fulfill his newfound desire to help those who are in his same shoes, regardless of the drug or addiction they might have. He let his job and began to build the Perfectly Flawed Foundation.

“We are not here to fix people, we are here to empower people,” said Tomsha. He believes that there is an overwhelming need for answers and help in our area. Tomsha helps through a harm reduction approach. He wants to “allow the individual to define what their path to recovery looks like.”

Tomsha was able to answer many questions from IVCC faculty and staff as well as others throughout the discussion. He was faced with questions to define some terms surrounding recovery and harm reduction. He was also faced with a question regarding the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on opioid usage.

Along with that, Tomsha made it a point to touch on the effects of drug prohibition multiple times throughout his conversation. He believes the problem is labeling users as criminals. He explained how once criminalized, their lives become even harder. They struggle to be approved for loans and get jobs, not to mention the shame that surrounds people once social media exploits their charge and mugshot. “Every time I see them [mugshots], it breaks my heart,” said Tomsha.

Although Tomsha is aware that all of his goals and ideas cannot happen overnight, he is happy that his foundation has had a positive impact thus far. The foundation played a huge role in legalizing syringe services in Illinois.

“I want to thank IVCC for bringing light to this issue,” expressed Tomsha. “It’s been a fun project and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.”

For more information on Tomsha and his foundation, visit