Elizabeth Vargas Leaves Vacation to Enter Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

Celebrity News Aug. 21, 2014 AT 11:00AM
Elizabeth Vargas 20/20 co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas has revealed that she left a vacation in California to return to rehab to treat her alcoholism. Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Elizabeth Vargas has suffered a setback in her struggle with sobriety.

The 51-year-old newswoman left a vacation in California over the weekend to return to rehab to treat her alcoholism.

"As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process," the 20/20 co-anchor said in a statement released by ABC. "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."

ABC is standing behind Vargas, saying in a statement, "Nothing is more important than Elizabeth's health and well-being and we stand squarely behind her. 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."

Vargas first entered rehab last November at the urging of her husband, singer/songwriter Marc Cohn, with whom she has two young sons. While she is an alcoholic, she sought treatment in a facility specializing in trauma because she suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since childhood and later started drinking to ease it. Her first attempt at rehab wasn't without its difficulties. After staying for 28 days, she left against doctors' advice and returned home. Five days later she returned and stayed until doctors gave her a green light.

In January, she appeared on Good Morning America and opened up about her struggle, saying, "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." She confessed that hiding her problem through the years has become "exhausting" and she felt like a "failure" when she would cover stories on alcoholism when she was privately struggling with it herself.

Vargas's last tweet before entering rehab this time was about the late Robin Williams, who was also a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict and suffered from depression.

Someone tweeted back to her, "Glad ur still with us, Elizabeth. Never give up the fight!" to which she replied:

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