News Anchor Elizabeth Vargas Returns to Work, Admits 'I Am An Alcoholic'
ABC news anchor Elizabeth Vargas is back to work after spending time in rehab for alcoholism. In a pre-taped interview with "Good Morning America" on Friday she told viewers, "I am. I am an alcoholic."
She added, "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 November, Vargas revealed that she was seeking help for alcohol abuse. Two weeks later she tweeted: "Hello everyone! I am home, and so grateful for all your support and well wishes. I am so much better and taking it one day at a time."
Vargas realized that she had a problem with alcohol when she realized she was "in no shape" to do an interview, she explained on GMA. Her drug of choice? Wine.
"At night I -- that was a ritual," the "20/20" anchor said. "I should've realized it was a problem way back when Zachary, my oldest son, was born. And he used to call my nightly glass of wine 'mommy's juice.' You know, and I thought that was hysterical. It didn't occur to me that that was a problem."
Vargas' husband, Marc Cohn, unsuccessfully tried to get help for his wife. Vargas remembers him saying: "'You have a problem. You're an alcoholic.
"It made me really angry, really angry. But he was right."
Triggers such as stress and anxiety spurred her to drink. "That's exhausting, to live like that," she explained. "And it becomes very easy to think 'I deserve this glass of wine. I'm so stressed out . . .'"
"I started thinking 'Well, you know, I'll only drink, you know, on weekends. I'll only drink, you know, two glasses of wine a night. I won't drink on nights before I have to get up and do Good Morning America," Vargas recalled. "But those deals never work."
Vargas joined AA and has a sponsor to help her recover. She also said she has a supportive group of friends and family.