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ABC's Elizabeth Vargas: 'I am dealing with addiction' to alcohol

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 8:07 PM EST, Wed November 6, 2013
Columbus Short had already admitted to struggling with alcohol <a href='http://www.people.com/article/columbus-short-arrested-public-intoxication-actor-says-not-drunk-angry' target='_blank'>during a wide-ranging interview with "Access Hollywood"</a> in July. In December, the former star of "Scandal"<a href='http://ahwd.tv/jh2DWP' target='_blank'> told "Access Hollywood" that drugs also played a role in his troubled time on the series</a>. "I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot, and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule a day, and a family, and, I just lost myself back then," he said. Columbus Short had already admitted to struggling with alcohol during a wide-ranging interview with "Access Hollywood" in July. In December, the former star of "Scandal" told "Access Hollywood" that drugs also played a role in his troubled time on the series. "I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot, and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule a day, and a family, and, I just lost myself back then," he said.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol," Vargas says
  • "I will deal with this challenge a day at a time," the ABC anchor says
  • Vargas hosts ABC News specials and the network's "20/20" program

(CNN) -- ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas has gone public with her decision to enter rehab for alcohol dependence, hoping it will give others "the courage to seek help."

"Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction," Vargas said in a statement to CNN Wednesday. "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."

She did not disclose when she entered the rehab facility or where it is. The last message on her Twitter account was posted on October 18.

"Like so many others, I will deal with this challenge a day at a time," Vargas said. "If coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I'm grateful."

Vargas, 51, hosts ABC News specials and the network's "20/20" program.

An ABC News spokesman said the network is "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," Jeffrey Schneider said.  "Elizabeth is a member of our family and we will support her in every way we can."

CNN's Rande Iaboni contributed to this report.

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