Substance Use among Medical Students in Kathmandu Valley

  • P Khanal Institute of Medicine, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • R H Ghimire The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
  • B Gautam Danbury Hospital, Danbury, New york, USA
  • SK Dhungana Institute of Maharajgunj, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
  • P Parajuli University of Lousiana, Monroe, Lousiana, USA
  • AK Jaiswal Institute of Maharajgunj, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
  • B Khanal Institute of Maharajgunj, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu


Introduction: Substance use including tobacco and alcohol is the most important cause of preventable morbidity, disability, and premature mortality. The study aims to specify the prevalence and the pattern of use of different substance.

Methods: A cross sectional study was performed amongst first year and final year students in four medical colleges in Kathmandu using self administered anonymous questionnaire.Data collectedfrom 446 students were analyzed.

Results: Prevalence of substance use was found to be 60.3% among the medical students. Alcohol (57.6%) was the substance most prevalently used followed by tobacco (27.58%) and cannabis (12.8%). Mean age of first exposure was 17.94 (Confidence interval: 17.91-17.97). There was significant difference in the useof tobacco and cannabis amongst final year students than first year students. Male and female differed significantly in use of every substance except for benzodiazepine. Medical college, college and school were place of first exposure in 17.26%, 15.92% and 13.23% of the cases respectively. Family history was associated with substance use in medical students and was statistically significant (P<0.0001).Experimentation was the major reason for the use of most of the substances.

Conclusions: Substance use is prevalent in male medical students of both first and final year. Hence steps should be initiated early in school, college and medical college to prevent substance use.

Keywords: alcohol, medical students, substance use, tobacco.

How to Cite
Khanal, P., Ghimire, R. H., Gautam, B., Dhungana, S., Parajuli, P., Jaiswal, A., & Khanal, B. (2010). Substance Use among Medical Students in Kathmandu Valley. Journal of Nepal Medical Association, 50(180).
Original Article