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Mental health status and substance abuse among medical students in Karaikal, Puducherry, India



Ramachandran Niranjjan1,*, S. Nancy1, S. Gayathri1 & Subramaniam Arulvijayavani2



1Department of Community Medicine, Vinayaka Mission's Medical College and Hospital, Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation Deemed to be University (VMRF-DU), Karaikal, Puducherry, India; 2Department of Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Karaikal, Puducherry, India; *Corresponding author



Ramachandran Niranjjan - E-mail: niranjindia@gmail.com; Phone: +91 8838022971

S. Nancy - E-mail: sngoovi@gmail.com; Phone: +91 9159804286

S. Gayathri - E-mail: dr.gayathri90@gmail.com; Phone: +91 9751719973

Subramaniam Arulvijayavani - E-mail: arulvijayavani@gmail.com; Phone: +91 8838022971


Article Type

Research Article



Received March 1, 2024; Revised March 31, 2024; Accepted March 31, 2024, Published March 31, 2024



Mental health disorders and substance abuse are prevalent issues that significantly impact individuals and societies. Medical students are particularly vulnerable due to the intense pressures and challenges inherent in medical education. This current investigation aims to explore the mental health status and patterns of substance abuse among medical students, identifying associated factors and potential interventions. A cross-sectional study was executed with 421 undergraduate and post graduate medical students from a tertiary care centre. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with psychological distress and substance abuse. Substance abuse was reported by 21.4% of participants, while 20.7% experienced psychological distress. There was a statistically significant association between substance abuse and psychological distress (p=0.005). Factors associated with psychological distress included sleep deprivation (Adjusted OR: 24.8, p=0.001), whereas factors associated with substance abuse included male gender (Adjusted OR: 2.3, p=0.001), older age, staying with friends (Adjusted OR: 1.8, p=0.04) and sleep deprivation abuse (OR: 2.0, p=0.01). This study highlights a significant occurrence of psychological distress and substance abuse among medical students. Interventions to improve mental health and reduce substance abuse among medical students should consider these associated factors, emphasizing the importance of sleep hygiene, stress management and supportive environments.



Mental health; substance abuse; medical students; psychological distress; sleep deprivation.



Niranjjan et al. Bioinformation 20(3): 292-296 (2024)


Edited by

Peter N Pushparaj






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.