Elizabeth Vargas: ABC ’20/20' newswoman in treatment for alcohol abuse

Elizabeth Vargas hasn’t been on ABC’s newsmagazine “20/20" for a while, and now we know why: The veteran newswoman is being treated for alcohol abuse, the network confirmed.

The Daily News broke the story Wednesday that Vargas, 51, checked herself into a “well-respected rehab facility” a few weeks ago and has at least a few more weeks left in her treatment.

In a statement, Vargas wrote: “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming. I am in treatment and am so thankful for the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues at ABC News. Like so many others, I will deal with this challenge one day at a time. If coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I’m grateful.”

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ABC News wrote in a statement: “We are proud of the steps Elizabeth has taken and are pulling for her recovery.” Vargas -- who was seen on “Good Morning America” a few weeks back -- is expected to return to “20/20" when she recovers. The show airs 10 p.m. Fridays.

Vargas has seen her star rise and fall at ABC News, where she has worked since 1996. After the death of Peter Jennings in 2005, she was in the running to be his permanent successor on “World News Tonight,” but ultimately lost the anchor chair to Charles Gibson (the program is now anchored by Diane Sawyer). Vargas has two children with “Walking in Memphis” songwriter Marc Cohn.

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