Tough love is a great tool when dealing with an addict child. In my experience it's as important as recovery from co-dependency. Tough love was originally aimed at teens because of the defiant behavior they can exhibit. With addiction, tough love can be enforced by parents even with children out of their teens, as was our case. At whatever age a person begins to abuse drugs is the age they remain throughout the usage and so a parent is usually dealing with a younger acting child than the actual chronological age.
Phyllis and David York originally developed tough love in 1979, both were trained family therapists and substance abuse counselors experiencing difficulties in raising their own teenage daughters. The basic idea behind using their approach was 'helping teens with unconditional love.' In other words, to love a troubled teen enough to firmly and consistently set firm, clear limits and boundaries with them. The founders of tough love have helped parents by establishing the importance of loving your teen unconditionally, while at the same time not liking the way they act or behave.
Unfortunately, the original principles of tough love have often been misinterpreted over the years and are sometimes presented in ways that were not intended by its founders. In its original form tough love was never intended to describe the drill sergeant type of discipline seen in some programs, such as boot camps for troubled teens. These tough approaches are not the same as this original approach that was based on loving your teen enough to take a firm, consistent stance while expecting them to be responsible for the decisions they make.