Ladislav Fabián

* 1967

  • "I have to touch the wood, fortunately I didn't meet heroin at the time. Codeine is also an opiate, it's an opium derivative. If I came across heroin then, I'd probably overdose. I didn't take pure codeine, I filtered it from Alnagon (a painkiller) and there were associated substances, and that's why my veins started to clog. During those two years I had no place in my body where I could inject it anymore. I injected it in my groin, in my throat, in my varicose veins - wherever I could. Even because codeine is being converted to ethylmorphine, which is addictive to opiates, I felt that the opiate was becoming an everyday and then an every hour snack for me. I reached the stage where I had consumed 10 sheets of alnagon a day, reaching a tolerance of 3 g of codeine and 2 g of meth, what an unbelievable animal I was. I was not doing anything, just taking drugs. I didn't want to be sober. The instinct for self-preservation came from the last attempt, when I already had a tendency to either overdose, take such a large dose that I wouldn't survive. Twice or three times I had a short cardiac arrest that I was unconscious for 2-3 minutes. The body withered, you don't eat anything while on the drugs, I had open wounds, varicose ulcers, festering in the street, I had nowhere to sleep, it was all about drugs, still and still. I thought it was not worth it. All I have to do is either go for a treatment or overdose. I got to a stage where I only had these two options."

  • "Psychiatry before the revolution treated those people quite insidiously, interestingly. I intentionally say it in an ironic way. They had no tools and procedures for those people. In addition, those psychiatrists were connected to the police, the policeman called the department, yes, we have him here. They informed each other, it was absolutely normal for the cops to come and visit us, or I was at a psychiatrist's, and when I confided in him confidentially, the next day the investigator knew it. They were connected. They locked us in a closed department, they were giving us pills, plegomazins (very strong dampening drugs) we were more or less just surviving there, and they threatened to deprive us of our rights or by arranging for us to be imprisoned, and we were treated with people, about whom we knew it was not their fault, who really had mental problems. I was in the worst department as a punishment, the senior doctor put me there because he thought it would have some effect on me somehow, there were people who didn't really know about the world, but I laughed in his eyes and said, 'This practice won't deter me from drugs. If I I'm going to want to take drugs, I will take them. And even with these people you can live and stay for a while.' These were healing practices under totalitarianism."

  • "The most intense time, it was the last five years. It was really cruel. In some way, I was almost not sober, I didn't want to be sober because sobriety hurt me. I still had to have something in store just for sure, because the body didn't bear all of the things either. I also had to sleep, but I had to go to sleep with the fact that when I get up I have to get something. I started to work like a car, when I didn't have a drive, I couldn't work. I got cross-addicted, I took opiates, mostly codeine, along with methamphetamine, and when I was completely beyond, I had paranoia and meth psychosis, I reduced it with opiates, or I started speeding, I mixed it together. The bigger the alien I was, the more it suited me. Not perceive, not feel anything. But of course you don't have this condition all the time, you have to feed yourself, the tolerance is increasing, you need more and more, so I went to the self-destructive phase when I wanted to kill myself, suicide attempts, that I take some twenty doses and that I'll end it because I don't want to be sober, still experiencing the repetitive wheel, being free for a moment, then serving a sentence or the psychiatry, life on the street or in some squat. So, I was sinking to the bottom more and more until I fell totally drawn, squeezed, exhausted. Because those treatments before were more or less purposeful, that I needed to fix myself, or I did it for my parents, or the court ordered me to do so. But in that year of 1993, I literally crawled on all fours to the psychiatric department and I begged for treatment that I would try to do something with myself. Because if I left it like that, I wouldn't be here today, I would be completely out of the way with those drugs."

  • "Of course, we were small potatoes for them. Their practices - I can even say that there was some psychological pressure. We knew that when the investigator told you, 'Take the shoelaces out of your shoes' and he put the pink paper in the typewriter, you would go to jail. However, he could also easily pull out the paper because you let something out, say something, who had stolen in a pharmacy, or who had stolen some jewelry. And it even happened that I got beaten. As I had long hair. The policeman pulled me by my hair and I saw a tuft of my hair in his hand, it got completely dark in front of my eyes and I almost hit him. I wanted to hit him. On the one hand it hurt me and I said to myself, he crossed the line. They kept you in this for half a day or a whole day. They knew you had a withdrawal, and that's why they didn't let you go and mentally got you down. I had experienced these practices: 'Say something about this or that, we already know it from someone else. 'Fortunately, I had nothing to do with the State Security, but with the criminal police yes.

  • "Then they arrested me for about eight or nine months. And that was probably my worst experience regarding prison. They arrested me here in Bělušice, Bečov u Mostu, that's somewhere in northern Bohemia. And the toxins, still in prison, were punished, they went to the so-called dormitory barracks as punishment. We went to the railway tracks, dismantled the tracks in the winter, it was freezing, minus twenty, and we were only in black overalls on the bare plain, where there was only a track, and we dismantled the tracks. We were putting the old ones aside and we put there the new ones. We were guarded by warders, whom we called black assholes. There was always a flag on one side, on the other side, and now it was moving. A fire was made, but one couldn't even warm up there, it wasn't worth it for that minute. We preferred to work. It really was a cruel crime, with an incredible bullying, and those convicted people, called the Jailbirds, were bullying each other. There were the checks of the number of convicted people when a person didn't do something or didn't make his bed, so the warder or one of the older convicted people made a “filcung” (an intensive inspection into a jail cell). We got up at three o'clock in the morning, we had to stand straight by the bed to see that we had levelled piles of clothes. I experienced a pretty brutal bullying. Re-education, well. They tried to re-educate us. To beat out what got us into prison."

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I didn‘t want to be sober because the sobriety hurt me

Ladislav Fabián in 1980s
Ladislav Fabián in 1980s
zdroj: archive of the witness

Ladislav Fabián was born on March 24, 1967 in a working class family in Havířov. After primary school, he started studying locksmith and then mining apprentice school, but he did not finish any of the schools, because he fell into drug addiction in the community of Havířov Máničky (young people with long hair, typically men, in Czechoslovakia through the 1960s and 1970s). He was experimenting with drugs (codeine) since the age of fourteen, and was addicted since the age of fifteen. During the 1980s, he was imprisoned three times and hospitalized five times in psychiatry. He felt firsthand that the interest of the totalitarian regime was to shut down and hide drug users from the public, not to cure them. He himself started successful voluntary treatment in 1993. In 1997 he started working in the therapeutic community in Čeladná as a guide for clients who want to get rid of addiction. He gradually finished high school and university and became a qualified social worker. He has been working at the Renarkon Aftercare Center for 11 years and runs the Alumni Club, which brings together people who have been addicted to drugs.