Elizabeth Vargas: "Mommy's juice" sent her to rehab

Jan 24, 2014 at 2:46 p.m. ET

Elizabeth Vargas is back on the air after entering rehab for alcoholism in November, and she's talking about what put her there in the first place.

Elizabeth Vargas

Elizabeth Vargas is back and stronger than ever after a brief stint in rehab at the end of last year.

In a sit-down with George Stephanopoulos airing on Good Morning America, the 20/20 host said that there are no bones about it: She has a serious drinking problem.

"I am an alcoholic. It took me a long time to admit that to myself. I took me a long time to admit that to my family. But I am," Vargas said.

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"The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting," she explained, adding, "You become so isolated with the secret, so lonely because you can't tell anyone what's happening."

But it was only when her young son began referring to her nightly wine habit as "Mommy's juice" did red flags start popping up.

"Wine was my go-to drink," she said of her chosen salve. "A lot of wine... At night, it was a ritual."

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Now Vargas has learned some important tools to manage both the physical and emotional aspects of her addiction, and the future is looking bright.

"It's a psychic change, it's learning to accept that I'm human, that there's nothing wrong with feeling anxiety."

Vargas announced she was undergoing treatment at the beginning of November after weeks of speculation over her absence from the airwaves.

"Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction," she said at the time. "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."

Image courtesy Andres Otero/WENN.com