ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas has gone public with her decision to check into a rehabilitation center for alcohol dependency. The 51-year-old "20/20" host has been absent from the airwaves for several weeks and released a statement with her network to confirm her status with the hope that "coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help."
In Vargas's statement, released Wednesday, she said:
Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. I am in treatment and am so thankful for the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues at ABC News.
ABC News senior VP of communications Jeffrey Schneider also released a statement on behalf of the network, standing behind Vargas's decision to come forward:
We are proud of the steps Elizabeth has taken and are pulling for her recovery. We look forward to having her back home at ABC News, where she has done so much distinguished work over the years. Elizabeth is a member of our family and we will support her in every way we can.
Vargas and the network have not released the name of the facility the anchor is currently seeking treatment at but have disclosed that she is several weeks into the program, with additional weeks to go.
Vargas is married to "Walking in Memphis" singer Marc Cohn. The couple has two sons, Zachary, 10, and Samuel, 7, and Vargas is stepmother to Cohn's two children from a previous marriage, Max and Emily. She was previously anchor for "ABC World News Tonight" before joining "20/20" in 2006.
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