ABC Anchor Elizabeth Vargas Leaves Rehab, Returns To '20/20'
Elizabeth Vargas, anchor of ABC's 20/20, will return to the show after exiting a second stint in rehab, according to her post on Twitter. The veteran journalist and mother of two young sons has faced challenges of late, leaving a family vacation in August to reenter rehab for a long-standing battle with alcoholism and announcing her divorce from her husband of 12 years, singer/songwriter Marc Cohn, according to People.
Vargas wrote: "So many thx to everyone for your support! It means so much. I am back to work next week, so happy to come back."
The 51-year-old Vargas has battled alcoholism for years. She sought treatment in the fall of 2013. In January she told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America of her struggles.
Vargas had started drinking to manage anxiety and panic attacks, according to US Weekly. She ended her first stint in rehab after 28 days against the advice of doctors but returned five days later and stayed until doctors thought it would be safe for her to leave.
I am an alcoholic. 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. 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. It's a staggering burden to walk around with, and you become so isolated with the secret and so lonely, because you can't tell anyone what's happening. And yet, it was a fact of my life.
She went back for more help this summer, offering the following statement to Page Six:
"While on vacation this weekend, I decided to return to a recovery center. As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process.
I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry. I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time."
The 55-year-old Cohn expressed his support during the readmission, saying, "On behalf of Elizabeth's family, we are in total support of her recovery and want her to be well."
At the time, ABC indicated that Vargas had the network's full support. "Nothing is more important than Elizabeth's health and well-being and we stand squarely behind her," a spokesperson told Page Six. "Our thoughts are with Elizabeth and her family and we look forward to having her back at ABC News when she feels ready to return."
According to the Mail Online, Vargas signed a new contract with the network earlier this year.