View Full Version : Medications and readiness at night

August 3, 2008, 02:39 PM

I am on some long-term medication that causes a nice, deep sleep. It is not one of the common sleep aids, just something that has this as a side effect. I've been on it for over a year and will likely remain on it. Anytime I am awoken in the middle of the night I am, well, sort of mildly 'drunk'.

I also run an electronics business at home, with a LOT of expensive test and measurement equipment.

What am I supposed to do in case of a night break in? Is it even responsible for me to attempt to defend myself with a firearm, or should I just keep a baseball bat/machete/baton by my bedside? My decision making ability is not impaired, but I am very drowsy with slowed response time.

Shawn Dodson
August 3, 2008, 04:02 PM
I don't know your entire situation, e.g., do you live with anybody else, do you have a dog, children, etc.? A little more information about your routine nighttime situation would be helpful.

If you live alone then your options become easier. Your bedroom can be your safe room. No need to wander about the house playing burglar hunt. Just hunker down in your bedroom and use verbal challenges:
"Who's there?!"
"I have a gun. Stay back!"
"Get out NOW!"
"I've called police!"

Keep verbal challenges and commands simple. Less than a half-dozen words, if possible. If the threat has violent intent, force it to seek you out. You're more of a danger to the threat than the threat is to you when you're in a position of advantage. The threat is less efficient than you - it has a large area to observe, you have only the avenue of approach, hopefully a channelized area.

(I suggest printing these commands on an index card and keeping it with your gun, to minimize your mental effort. Also print 9-1-1, and your address on the reverse, for the same reason. Being groggy and drugged can impair your ability to think clearly and quickly. You want to set yourself up for success.)

Hopefully you have a cell phone. If your business has been cased, and your land line cut to disable silent alarm, you can still summon help.

I wouldn't leave my bedroom except to greet police.

You might consider periodically rehearsing your response to suspicious noise, activity, circumstances, to ingrain your response in the event of an actual criminal encounter. Rehearsal provides "been there, done that" experience.

Finally, in your drugged, groggy state your primary objective should be to simply persuade the threat to leave, using heavy commands and warnings. Let insurance deal with any property loss.


August 3, 2008, 04:07 PM
Get a GOOD monitored alarm system with a panic button and talk-back feature. Reinforce doors and windows with REAL security locks that have hardened bolts and go deep into the jamb. Use solid core metal doors and maybe bars on the windows. That takes care of making access to the interior more difficult.

Now, should you shoot if you're mildly doped up? That will depend on how incapacitated you are. You MUST be sure of your target if you shoot. You MUST be able to stop the intruder or he/she may deploy their own weapon, be it fists, a club, or a big gun. Showing a gun you can't use reliably puts you on the defensive. You'll have to decide.

August 4, 2008, 01:39 AM
I wouldn't want to have access to a gun near my bed if I was drug-groggy -
You could shoot yourself or anyone making a noise who was not a BG.
Depending on the med and its listed warnings - may be legally inadvisable as well.

Alarms, pepper spray, weapon lights - even a dog in your room etc - other ideas that come up.

T. O'Heir
August 4, 2008, 02:05 AM
"...Is it even responsible for me to..." It's not a responsiblity thing. You're likely not physically capable of it.
Like Keltyke says, a good, loud, monitored, alarm system, bright lights and a dog(great big dogs, like dobermans and rottweilers, tend to be far more ferocious looking than they are tough, but criminals will still be deterred. Nice dogs though. Criminals are usually afraid of any dog. Little dogs all think they're guard dogs. They are too. Dogs being very territorial beasties.) Go rescue a pound mutt. A mutt is usually smarter than a purebred and just as territorial.

August 4, 2008, 10:51 PM
I live with my aged parents. They have two dachshunds who live outside during the day and sleep in the kitchen closet at night. I personally have a medium sized dog that will alert bark when she sees strangers outside of the house and when the doorbell rings, but won't bark at strangers in the house and will sleep through things at night. We lock up the front and back doors with deadbolts at night, but we have two sets of french doors that open onto the patio, one of which is to my bedroom. These are the doors I am worried about.

I am thinking about getting door alarms for those french doors as they are the most likely point of entry. The alarm sound at night would certainly set off my dog who otherwise would sleep through things. Anyone who cased the joint during the day would certainly find out about my dog and hopefully move on.

I will have to set an alarm for 3:00AM or something and see how I react. Not looking forward to that, but I haven't purchased a self defense firearm yet and I need to do the night time tests first.

August 5, 2008, 06:12 AM
I am thinking about getting door alarms for those french doors

Get a whole house alarm. I recommend CPI. It's a monitored system with several settings. One setting is "Stay". There is one exit/entry door that gives you about 30 seconds to cancel the alarm - everything else is instant. That one door should be the most break-proof in the house. If any other door is opened, the alarm will go off instantly. About 10 seconds later, CPI will come on through a house-wide loudspeaker and ask if you need assistance. At that point, they can hear anything that goes on throughout the house. Simply yell "Intruder, call police! Help!" They can also install an infrared sensor that will detect any movement in the area it's aimed to, like those doors. Set the alarm to "Away" and it goes off instantly with any movement in the range. Be careful, the dog can set it off.