In November, we reported that ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas entered a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism treatment. The journalist recently returned to television on the program “20/20” to discuss her substance abuse problem and recovery process with fellow ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos.
Vargas started the interview by talking about how difficult it was to admit to herself that she was an alcoholic.
“It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am,” Vargas said. “It must have taken so much effort to keep that secret. The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view, hidden from my family, hidden from friends, from colleagues was exhausting.”
When asked if anyone important in her life knew that she had an alcohol problem, Vargas said that her husband recognized the signs and tried to encourage her to seek treatment. After the confrontation with her husband, Vargas did not immediately enter a rehabilitation facility. She instead tried to deal with the issue on her own.
Vargas said that she realized that she needed professional help on a Saturday afternoon before a “20/20” shoot. She admitted that she had been drinking before arriving at the location and was in no condition to conduct an interview.
Alcoholism is a disease, Vargas said in the interview, and she is taking the recovery process day by day. She noted that she has a strong support system in place and thinks that she will be able to live a sober life.