MEDIA
01/24/2014 09:07 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2014

Elizabeth Vargas Opens Up About Alcoholism: 'I Knew I Needed To Get Help'

Elizabeth Vargas opened up about her addiction to alcohol on Friday.

“I am. I am an alcoholic,” Vargas acknowledged to George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Friday's "Good Morning America." “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 said that it had been "exhausting" to hide her drinking problem, and she realized she needed to get help when she showed up to "20/20" one day and was “in no shape to do that interview.”

”I got out of the car I realized what am I doing? And that’s when I knew I needed to get help," she said.

The "20/20" anchor said that her alcohol addiction began as a way to cope with anxiety and panic attacks, which began when she was a child and continued into adulthood.

“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 described.

Vargas said her husband confronted her about it, but it wasn't until last fall that she checked herself into rehab for alcohol abuse. She said she then left against the rehab center's advice, only to return to complete the treatment. ABC News has expressed its support for Vargas and said that they would welcome her back when she was ready.

On Friday, ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez tweeted:

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