January 31, 2008

Bush Speaks Out About Addiction


by Rohan Parker

President George Bush has surprised many political observers this week, using personal anecdotes in discussions with two former prisoners about the difficulties of addiction. Referencing his own troubled history with alcohol dependency, the president expounded the virtues of “faith-based” programs when trying to overcome such serious addictions.

“I understand addiction,” he said, “and I understand how a changed heart can help you deal with addiction.”

The site of this unusual exchange, a small room at an East Baltimore rowhouse, saw ex-prisoners Thomas Boyd and Adolphus Moseley recount for the president their own struggles with drug dependency. Bush repeatedly referred to his own past experience with addiction, seeking to find common ground with the participants in the church-run program Jericho.

“Addiction is hard to overcome,” the president reiterated to waiting journalists. “As you might remember, I drank too much at one time in my life. I understand faith-based programs. I understand that sometimes you can find the inspiration from a higher power to solve an addiction problem.”

Bush was here to attend the seventh anniversary of his program designed to distribute government funds amongst “faith-based” social service organizations. He has, over the years, only spoken infrequently about his personal struggles with alcohol, having quit drinking in 1986 after a post-party hangover.

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