VIDEO: Perfectly Flawed founder talks about helping people affected by addiction during pandemic

'There is hope'

While changes have been made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Perfectly Flawed Foundation, based in La Salle, is continuing to serve individuals affected by drug addiction.

Luke Tomsha, founder of the Perfectly Flawed Foundation, joined The NewsTrib and The Times on Friday afternoon for a Zoom interview about his not-for-profit organization.

He said he's seen an increase in the past two weeks of individuals reaching out to his group for help — and most of them have been new individuals.

He passed along a message to anyone who is struggling: "There is hope."

Tomsha, a recovered heroin user for over 14 years, started the organization, which serves La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties, in 2017 after a friend died from an overdose in rehabilitation.

His group focuses on individual growth and treatment outside of the medical realm. Sometimes it's helping an individual find a job, a roof over their head, or making progress on an addiction goal.

"Drug use and addiction affects everyone, we're all perfectly flawed," Tomsha said. "We all have our own struggles whatever they may be, gambling, or relationships, we're all perfectly flawed and we can grow through those struggles and experiences."

Tomsha's service is based on one-on-one interactions, which are difficult to accommodate during the governor's stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The organization had to postpone its Smart Recovery Support Group, a peer group which met to support each other. Some one-on-one activity was moved to Zoom meetings on the computer, Tomsha said. Use of the organization's confidential text line has been increased.

Perfectly Flawed started a "Stay Connected" series on its Facebook page, sharing interviews from therapists in New York.

He said, however, nothing can duplicate in-person human interaction, and he's been taking walks with proper social distancing measures with clients.

Tomsha said the many unknowns during the pandemic have caused anxiety in the new clients he's talking to, noting the first couple weeks were quiet, but "it has picked up in the last two weeks."

Perfectly Flawed has been distributing care packages with masks and other hygiene items to first responders, EMTs and staff in emergency rooms.

The organization still has naloxone and fentanyl drug kits available — something Tomsha said anyone who is a user, or anyone who knows a user should have, because it may save a life.

To find out more about the Perfectly Flawed Foundation, go to https://www.perfectlyflawed.org/ Anyone affected by an addiction can reach out to the Perfectly Flawed Foundation by calling the office at 815-830-8675 or they can reach out to the text line off-hours at 815-830-8675. Tomsha said someone from the organization will be in touch within a day.