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The 13th Step: New podcast from NHPR’s award-winning Document team streaming now

Sara Plourde

It started with a tip. Eventually, multiple sources said it was an open secret: The founder of New Hampshire’s largest addiction treatment network was sexually harassing or assaulting women – allegations he denies.

How did he get away with it? That question led investigative reporter Lauren Chooljian on a journey into the American addiction treatment industry. She found  a longstanding – and long tolerated  – culture of sexual misconduct. A phenomenon people in the recovery world call “the 13th step.”

This new seven-part series – from the team who made hit podcasts Bear Brook and Stranglehold– explains why that misconduct remains unpoliceable. And why America can’t truly address the addiction crisis until it takes “the 13th step” seriously. It also gets personal — illustrating the danger for journalists and their sources, when they expose alleged wrongdoing by powerful people. A New York Times article about The 13th Step published earlier this week describes that danger in greater detail.

The 13th Step is for anyone who has been touched by the addiction crisis, who cares about the fate of the #MeToo movement, or who seeks out gripping audio storytelling. Listen now here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Donate now to help make local investigative journalism like The 13th Step possible. NHPR supporters make it possible for the team to keep investigating and sharing these stories with you.

This podcast is a production of the Document team at New Hampshire Public Radio, and received support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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