President Bush is talking more openly lately about his old drinking habit, and yesterday he offered perhaps his most pointed assessment yet by saying plainly that the term “addiction” had applied to him.
“Addiction is hard to overcome. As you might remember, I drank too much at one time in my life,” Bush said during a visit to the Jericho Program, a project of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland that helps former prisoners deal with problems such as drug addiction so they can find jobs and reintegrate productively into society.
Bush spoke to reporters after meeting privately with two men who have graduated from Jericho’s program and dealt with drug problems. During that session, which the White House allowed one reporter to attend, Bush spoke frankly about himself.
“I understand addiction, and I understand how a changed heart can help you deal with addiction,” he told the two men. “There’s some kind of commonality.”
He asked Adolphus Mosely and Tom Boyd how they stopped using drugs – and then answered his own question.
“First is to recognize that there is a higher power,” Bush said. “It helped me in my life. It helped me quit drinking.”
“That’s right, there is a higher power,” Mosely said.
“Step One, right?” Bush said, referring to the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps program. Actually, it’s the second step.