​Elizabeth Vargas Speaks To GMA About Alcoholism​​

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January 24, 2021

Elizabeth Vargas heads back to 20/20 on Jan. 24 after completing some extensive treatment for alcoholism. As reported earlier, Vargas sought treatment in rehab last fall, which is her second stint in two years.discussed what she said was an “exhausting” battle with alcoholism on “Good Morning America” Friday.

“I am. I am an alcoholic,” Vargas told “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos in interview that was taped Thursday. “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.”

Vargas returns to the air Friday on “20/20.” She is in Alcoholic Anonymous and has a sponsor.

Vargas said she had done “20/20″ specials on drinking but couldn’t acknowledge she had a problem. She said she knew she needed help when she showed up for a “20/20″ shoot one day and realized she was “in no shape to do that interview.”

She also resisted when her husband, Marc Cohn, told her, “‘You have a problem. You’re an alcoholic.’”

“It made me really angry, really angry,” she said. “But he was right.”

Vargas said she drank mostly wine, and that one of her children called it “mommy’s juice.” She tried to limit her intake.

“I started thinking ‘Well, you know, I’ll only drink, you know, on weekends,” she said, laughing. “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.’ But those deals never work.”

Vargas, 51, said she had battled panic attacks since she was a child. They began when her father was serving in Vietnam, and her mother would leave to go to work.

“I dealt with that anxiety, and with the stress that the anxiety brought by starting to drink. And it slowly escalated and got worse and worse,” she said.

She said it took her a long time to realize she had a problem.

“I mean, denial is huge for any alcoholic, especially for a functioning alcoholic, because I, you know, I’m not living under a bridge. I haven’t been arrested,” she said.

Elizabeth Vargas said that instead of turning to alcohol, now she calls a friend, meditates or prays.