updated 11/06/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/06/2013 AT 5:30 PM ET
Elizabeth Vargas has checked into rehab for alcohol abuse, PEOPLE has learned.
The co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20, who has recently been absent from the news show, confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE that she is currently in treatment.
“Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming,” Vargas, 51, says.
“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.