Elizabeth Vargas, ABC's 20/20


Elizabeth Vargas is getting stronger, day-by-day.

The 20/20 co-anchor and ABC News correspondent entered rehab Saturday for alcohol issues, her rep confirmed Sunday. The 51-year-old TV journalist had previously spent time in rehab in November 2013.

"While on vacation this weekend, I decided to return to a recovery center," Vargas said in a statement. "As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process. I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down, and for that I am ashamed and sorry." She added, "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."

An ABC spokesperson said Sunday that the network will continue to offer its support to Vargas and her family throughout her recovery. "Nothing is more important than Elizabeth's health and well-being, and we stand squarely behind her," the spokesperson said in a statement. "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 referenced addiction in her tweet about Robin Williams' suicide. "I am so sad for Robin—and his fight with addiction," she wrote Aug. 11. "My heart goes out to his wife and kids." The next day, she thanked a user who wished her luck in facing her own demons, writing, "It really is one day at a time."

Vargas, who has two children with husband Marc Cohn, discussed her alcoholism in January on Good Morning America. "I am an alcoholic," she said, adding that it took some time to admit it to her family. She announced plans to write a memoir about dealing with the disease, to be published in spring 2016.

Vargas was quite candid in her taped interview with George Stephanopoulos. "The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting," she said. "You become so isolated with the secret, so lonely because you can't tell anyone what's happening."

At the time, Vargas also revealed that she had suffered panic attacks since she was a child. "I dealt with that anxiety, and with the stress that the anxiety brought, by starting to drink," she said. She called the condition a "fact of my life," and vowed to find the emotional and mental tools to cope. "It's a psychic change, it's learning to accept that I'm human, that there's nothing wrong with feeling anxiety," she said.

Vargas has been with ABC since 1996.

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