Elizabeth Vargas Shares Her Battle With Alcoholism in Hopes of Helping Others

By May Wilkerson 04/08/16

Vargas shares the full story of her struggles with alcohol in her upcoming memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction.

Elizabeth Vargas Shares Her Battle With Alcoholism in Hopes of Helping Others
Photo via Shutterstock/ Debbie Wong

When it comes to dealing with addiction as a public figure, Elizabeth Vargas is taking the approach of total honesty. By sharing her story, the 20/20 co-host hopes her “deeply personal” struggle with addiction may be able to help others, she told People magazine this week.

Vargas, 53, first spoke out about her struggle with alcoholism in early 2014 after going to rehab in 2013. “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction,” she said during an interview on Good Morning America. “I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol.” Later that year, it was reported that she had returned to rehab after a relapse. "As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process," Vargas said in a statement at the time.

Now sober again, she continues her commitment to opening up about the reality of addiction. "I think it's important for any person to own their own story, the good parts and the bad," Vargas said, adding that other people sharing their stories helped her in the past. "I first started to wonder if I had an issue, so I read other people's books, and they helped me enormously," she said. "It's very scary to put it out there, but if I can help one person feel less alone, then I'm really happy about that." 

Vargas will tell her full story in her upcoming memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, to be released in September. She described the writing process as "partially therapeutic, at times painful, and yet also, at times, very liberating." She added: "This was about admitting what I did, what I suffered with, and how I overcame it."

The TV personality credits her recovery in part to her family, friends and colleagues who stood by her through the various stages of her illness and recovery. "I am really lucky, and every day I realize that more because I see so many people who don't have family and friends who stood by them, or employers that gave them another chance," she told People. "I am extraordinarily blessed." 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
May Wilkerson.jpg

May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.