SHAAP was set up in November 2006 by the Scottish Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties through SIGA, the Scottish Intercollegiate Group on Alcohol. Clinicians had become increasingly concerned at the escalation in alcohol-related health damage in Scotland - both in its acute effects seen in admissions to accident and emergency departments and in chronic conditions such as liver disease and brain damage. Following a scoping exercise, which included interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, the need was identified to establish a group which would represent health professionals in Scotland, providing consistent, expert advice and advocating for effective solutions to reduce alcohol-related harms.
SHAAP is currently in receipt of grant funding from the Scottish Government. This funding covers core costs, including the salaries of two part-time members of staff.