January 25

Elizabeth Vargas publicly admits she’s an alcoholic

She says hiding the problem was exhausting.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK – ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas has publicly acknowledged that she’s an alcoholic, and said it took her years to admit it.

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Elizabeth Vargas says she drank to manage anxiety and stress and her dependency “slowly escalated and got worse and worse.”

The Associated Press

In an interview aired Friday on “Good Morning America,” Vargas, 51, said hiding her problem was exhausting.

“Even to admit it to myself was admitting, I thought, that I was a failure,” said Vargas, who noted that she had reported several “20/20” specials on drinking yet couldn’t acknowledge her own alcohol dependency.

She said 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.

Her go-to drink was wine which, increasingly during her adulthood, she used to manage her anxiety and stress. Her drinking “slowly escalated and got worse and worse,” she said.

Meanwhile, she tried to bargain with herself.

“I started thinking, ‘Well, you know, I’ll only drink, you know, on weekends,”’ she recalled. “‘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.”

She said her husband, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, wasn’t fooled.

“You have a problem. You’re an alcoholic,” she said he told her, adding that his words “made me really angry, really angry. But he was right.”

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