ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas Returns to TV Post-Rehab: “I Am an Alcoholic”
It’s hard enough to admit a problem with alcohol. Now imagine admitting it to your longtime co-worker who just happens to be George Stephanopoulos. That’s what Elizabeth Vargas did in a recent interview, marking the news anchor’s first time on television since she entered rehab for alcoholism last year.
“I am an alcoholic,” she tells her long-time colleague. “It took me a long time to admit that to myself. It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am.”
In the nearly eight-minute clip, Elizabeth, a 51-year-old mother of two, shares the struggle she faced to keep her problem hidden from the world.
“The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting,” she explains, adding that even admitting it to herself had her thinking she “was a failure.”
Elizabeth finally sought treatment last fall when she checked into rehab.
In a statement released at the time, Elizabeth explained, “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming.”
She went on to thank her family, friends, and ABC News colleagues for their love and support, love and support they seem to be continuing to give as Elizabeth makes her return to 20/20 tonight (January 24).