Bush emotional, again, as he talks about overcoming his drink problem

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The Independent US

The intensely private George Bush had another emotional moment yesterday when he discussed how he overcame his drinking problems through religion.

In his final year in office, the deeply unpopular President has been increasingly prone to public outbursts of emotion, something rarely seen in such a famously disciplined politician.

On Tuesday, he wept openly during a memorial service for a Navy Seal who died in Iraq, the tears streaming down his face as the moment overcame him.

Mr Bush ended his wild drinking years only when he was 40. His hard-driving reputation was rarely discussed when he was either running for office or in his White House years. And while Mr Bush seldom goes to church, he credits an intense religious awakening with helping him kick the bottle.

"I quit drinking – and it wasn't because of a government programme. It required a little more powerful force than a government programme in my case," Mr Bush said after signing the "Second Chance Act", a government initiative to help recovered substance abusers – into law.

The law he was referring to is a prisoner rehabilitation programme aimed at assisting convicts return to normal life. It is one of the few in which the US government pays for to help people overcome addiction.

It's the third time in recent months, that Mr Bush has publicly reflected on his history as had drinker. He told ABC News he quit drinking more than 20 years ago – cold turkey.