Bush tells of how faith helped drink problem
George W Bush has given his most candid speech yet about how religion helped rid him of heavy drinking.
Speaking at a Christian youth centre in Texas, the US president said the best way to reform an addict was to "change their heart".
Mr Bush's past wayward behaviour has been well documented. He pleaded guilty to driving over the alcohol limit in 1976, when he was aged 30.
He once told the Queen that he was the black sheep of the Bush family, according to published accounts.
Speaking at the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas last night, he said: "You've got to understand that sometimes, and a lot of times, the best way to help the addict, a person who is stuck on drugs and alcohol, is to change their heart."
"See, if you change their heart, then they change their behaviour - I know."
Mr Bush gave up drinking the day after his 40th birthday and has often spoken of how important religion is in his life.
But he has never linked the two so candidly.
Mr Bush was in Texas en route to his ranch outside Waco, where he will stay over the Halloween weekend.
The speech was part of a bid to renew the President's so-called "faith-based initiative".
"We don't want the church to be the state and we don't want the state to be the church," he said.
"But the government should support the good work of religious people who are changing America."
Several dozen people protested outside the hall against the war on Iraq.