Category Archives: General Information

Alano Club Is Not the Same as 12 Step Programs

The following was taken as a direct quote from the High Plains Alano Club web site.  There has been no formal adoption of this language by the Alano Club of St. Joseph.  This is merely an example of how the Alano Club and Groups might be distinguished.  While the comparison is clearly a distinction noting the business aspect of Alano we should remember that we are a not-for-profit charitable organization with deep roots in the 12 Step community.

Alano Club / AA / Alanon / GA / NA Interrelatedness

There are sometimes misconceptions and confusion regarding the interrelatedness between the Alano Club and Alcoholics Anonymous/Alanon/Gamblers Anonymous/ and Narcotics Anonymous.

The Club operates as a business whose revenues come from renting the meeting room, membership dues and occasional fundraisers. Alano Club expenses consist of upkeep and maintenance of the facilities, utilities, and other overhead expenses necessary to operate.

The following are some organizational contrasts between the Alano Club, AA and Alanon.

Alano Club of St. Joseph AA & ALANON & GA & NA
Physical Spiritual
Business Fellowship
Dues No Dues or Fees
Needs Income Self-Supporting
Rules and Bylaws Traditions
Organized Never be organized
Officers Trusted servants
Limited Membership All welcome

There are some 12 Step members who are very sensitive to any mixing of 12 Step business with Alano Club business. Alano Club announcements should always be made under “Non-Group Announcements.” The Alano Club is a totally separate entity from AA, NA or Alanon.

Smoke Free Ordinance and Alano

We have inquiries submitted to the City Manager asking for clarification on the Smoke Free Ordinance as it applies to the Alano Club of St. Joseph.   The ordinance takes effect 60 days after passage so we have until June 7, 2014, to determine whether this applies to our property.  We have requested a written response so there is no confusion.

From the City Web site:

Smoke-Free Ordinance Passed April 8, 2014 Voters passed the Smoke-Free Indoor Air Workplaces and Public Places Ordinance on April 8, 2014. The ordinance shall be in full force and effect on June 7, 2014. Click on the link below to view the ordinance.
Smoke-Free Ordinance...

Addiction is a Public Health Issue

Addiction has become so widespread that it is now recognized as a public health issue.  The Alano Club of St. Joseph has a simple mission – hosting meeting space for 12 Step Programs, providing social activities for those in recovery, and education. This mission is designed to support recovery from addiction in a supportive community of other recovering alcoholics and addicts.

In the past addiction was seen as a health issue for individuals.  Today we recognize the public health implications of active addiction.  From ATTC (Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network):

Directly or indirectly, every community is affected by drug abuse and addiction, as is every family.  Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, lung disease, obesity, and mental disorders can all be affected by drug abuse. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use; however, some may occur after just one use . . . A strong link also exists between drug abuse and top social problems such as drugged driving, violence and crime, stress, and child abuse.

As one can easily see, addiction is much more than a drunk sitting on a park bench, or the opium addict hidden in some dark den of abuse.

Addiction is defined as a “…chronic, progressive, incurable disease, characterized by a loss of control over a substance, including alcohol.  Like all chronic, progressive, incurable diseases, addiction has a tendency to relapse.  Consider heart disease, for example.  Like addiction, heart disease has identifiable symptoms and identifiable treatments.  Diabetes and arthritis are the same – identifiable symptoms and identifiable treatments.

Tobacco Effects on Whole Body










From NIDA, 2007  (National Institute for Drug Abuse):

“Drug addiction is preventable. Researchers have developed a broad range of programs that are effective in preventing early use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs and in curbing abuse that has already begun. Preventing substance abuse early in life, especially during adolescence, can reduce the chances of later abuse and addiction” (NIDA, 2007).

Obviously, the best approach is to never begin the use of drugs in the first place.  Education programs in our schools can help prevent the use of drugs by adolescents.  While Alano does not endorse any particular program, we do affirm the need for early education.

More from NIDA (2007)

“Drug addiction is treatable. Like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, drug addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed successfully. Relapse is not a sign of treatment failure, but rather an indication that treatment should be reinstated or adjusted to help addicted individuals fully recover (NIDA, 2007).

Recovery of Brain Function








Some drugs seem to be more harmful than others.  The actual difference is in time and quantities.  A classic alcoholic takes about fifteen years to develop full blown alcoholism.  A young person might begin alcohol use in late adolescence.  This person might go to college or enter the military or find a technical school for job training.  With school or military service completed that person likely gets a job, gets married, buys a house, has children, has two automobiles, and a life of dignity and respect.  When the alcoholism matures the person begins having problems at home, at work, and often with the law.  These are the symptoms.

Hard core narcotic use is the same as alcohol with the exception of length of time for addiction maturity.  The same person in the alcohol scenario who begins use of narcotic drugs in late adolescence will probably not complete military service or college or any other form of job training.  They do not begin a profession, struggle in relationships, and have trouble with the law.

As noted in the above chart, the use of methamphetamine has profound impact on our brain.  Total abstinence can see the return of brain function but long term studies have yet to predict the long term damage.

Most of the addictive drugs, including alcohol, cause a wide range of other health issues.  As with the tobacco chart above we know that our internal organs suffer from the constant introduction of toxins in our system.

Many people are in our hospitals with a diagnosis of liver or kidney problems.  Many have heart conditions.  Cancers of a wide variety present themselves.  These diagnosis do not always reflect the cause of the problem – do not recognize the addiction as the dependent variable in individual illnesses.

We are convinced that addiction is a major public health issues and we work everyday to minimize the harm of addiction.


Alano Club of St. Joseph, MO

The Alano Club of St. Joseph was founded in 1949 as Alano Mercy Hospital.  Four beds were available for detoxing alcoholics and meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous were held regularly.  Time and needs changed – and so did Alano.  We presently offer meeting space, social activities, and education to ALL 12 Step Programs.  At the moment we host as tenants Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Gamblers Anonymous.

ADDRESS:  401 S 11th St.; St Joseph, MO

PHONE NUMBER:  (816) 364-9179


Building Trust

Building Trust

Trust is critical, particularly with today’s emphasis on team management.  It is also the foundation for good relationships.  Friendships, families, and organizations need trust to operate effectively.  When people trust each other, everything works better.  But trust doesn’t come automatically.  Trust must be earned.
Some people build trust quickly.  Their attitudes and behaviors make it easy for others to trust them.  Here are several characteristics of these strong trust builders:

  • •    They keep promises, whether to clients, colleagues, or children.  You can rely on them to do what they said they would do.
  • •    They tell the truth, even when it may be painful, or when it may be to their disadvantage.
  • •    They are quick to apologize when they do something wrong.  They sincerely regret doing wrong to others.
  • •    They are good listeners, and they listen at least as much as they talk.
  • •    They generously praise people.  They are constantly looking for what others do right, and commenting on it.
  • •    They willingly cooperate with their colleagues.  They are more interested in achieving good results than in who will get the credit.
  • •    They strive to understand how others feel.  They are sensitive and empathetic to other’s feelings.
  • •    They look out for other people’s interests as well as their own.
  • •    They are fair in their dealings with everyone.
  • •    They clarify their intentions so others will understand their actions.
  • •    They seek input on issues from the people who will be affected by their decisions or actions.
  • •    They are genuinely interested in other people.

Strong trust builders have a high relationship orientation.  They really do care about others.  They actively practice the Golden Rule, treating others the way they would want to be treated.
OBSERVATION:  When you demonstrate these attitudes and behaviors, people just naturally trust you more.  They trust you faster, too.  They enjoy working, or living, with you.

The Story of a Way Out (1950)

“Will you exchange sickness and remorse, desolation and despair, for faith and hope, health and happiness?  We, in Alano Club, have made this trade and are glad.  We have found the way out.  You can do the same before time runs out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97 other followers