Think of alcohol as the new cholesterol in your life,"" advise addiction specialist Luks and journalist Barbato, addressing not alcoholics but moderate social drinkers who might be damaging their looks, health, and well-being with as few as two or three drinks a week. Warning that beer and wine are no safer than the hard stuff, Luks and Barbato review alcohol's role in a range of problems from aging skin, memory loss, poor sex, and poor athletic performance to ulcers, strokes, birth defects, and many cancers. (Several studies have associated alcohol with a lower risk of heart attack, but Luks and Barbato question its protective role.) Their prescription? An alternative ""natural high"" induced by exercising or meditating For at least 20 minutes a day. According to the experts and personal stories cited here, such programs are beneficial in themselves and tend to reduce or kill the craving for alcohol. About half who embark stick with it, and the rates for behavior change are higher among those who understand the risks and what they can do for themselves. Reading this book could do it.