There are different levels of alcoholism. Some people are called functioning alcoholics meaning that while they are drinking alcohol, their level of function is maintained rather than passing out drunk in bed or on the couch. However, some alcoholics function so well that the alcoholism can and does carry over into the workplace. This can be extremely dangerous depending upon the work that is carried out. Coworkers who are aware of the situation should notify a supervisor.
For both functioning alcoholics and those who show up to work with hangovers, alcoholism can have a detrimental effect on workplace productivity. Companies need to have an effective policy in place that deals with substance abuse and how it can have a negative effect on the company and its employees. Consequences should be outlined and support services advertised, if such services are offered. Having a policy in place as well as a company who cares can make a big difference in how alcoholism in the workplace is defined and handled.