Alcohol and Situational Awareness- Incompatible?
This question is regarding the implications of being mentally impaired and trying to have the greatest possible situational awareness regarding a self defense mindset. For the context of this discussion, I will define this as: A temporary condition in which a person has reduced mental capacity and diminished response time as a result of intoxication by alcohol and other drugs.
Since alcohol is so common, and since it is the drug that is implicated in an enormous number of traumatic injuries (planned and un-planned) it will be the major focus of this discussion. This discussion is NOT about whether or not a person should be allowed to carry a weapon inside of an establishment that sells alcohol. We all know that being in a bar does not mean that a person is impaired (designated drivers for example)
Now to the questions:
1. Can a person expect to have JUST AS MUCH capacity for situational awareness (SA) and reaction time (RT) while using alcohol as opposed to being sober? (keeping in mind many research studies in which reaction times have diminished due to alcohol intoxication and even mild consumption)
2. Should a person that wishes to be able to defend them-self be using alcohol at all? Is there ever a good time to be impaired while desiring maximum safety?
3. Is there ever a safe PLACE in which to become impaired and remain safe (short of hiring a bodyguard to watch out for you) ? To expand this thought, obviously a bar may be a worst case scenario for many, while home may seem relatively safe. (but we know that even home is often not safe)
4. Are there situations in which one may be called to assist someone else, or to make emergency decisions for another, which may be impossible while impaired? (for example, a parent called to the ER to make decisions for a child involved in an automobile accident)
5. What is the value of training to increase SA and self defense tactics for those that plan to use alcohol or other drugs? Doesn't mental impairment go against everything that is trying to be accomplished? Isn't the goal to INCREASE mental conditioning rather than DECREASE it?
Just a few thoughts I have had, hopefully this will generate some good discussion that can be learned from.