'20/20's' Elizabeth Vargas has been in rehab for alcohol abuse for weeks

elizabeth-vargas-rehab-alcohol-abuse-abc.jpg Elizabeth Vargas' absence from "20/20" for the past few weeks finally has an explanation. Quite a serious one, at that.

On Wednesday (Nov. 6), the ABC newswoman confirmed that she's been in a rehabilitation facility to address her alcohol abuse.

"Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction," Vargas says in a statement. "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."

Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman for ABC, released a statement on behalf of the network, expressing support for the veteran journalist. "We are proud of the steps Elizabeth has taken and are pulling for her recovery," he says. "We look forward to having her back home at ABC News, where she has done so much distinguished work over the years. Elizabeth is a member of our family and we will support her in every way we can."

Vargas' tenure at ABC began in 1996 when she joined "Good Morning America" as newsreader. She's been a co-anchor at "20/20" since May 2004.
Photo/Video credit: ABC