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National Surprise Drug Test Day – April 21, 2023

National Surprise Drug Test Day is observed every year on April 21. It’s a well-known fact among marijuana users that April 20 is National Marijuana Day or National Weed Day. When authority figures caught on to this, the day after April 20 unofficially became Surprise Drug Test Day in offices and homes. This has led to debates about the ethics of conducting surprise, mandatory drug tests for employees.

History of National Surprise Drug Test Day

The unofficial holiday, National Surprise Drug Test Day, began as an answer to another unofficial holiday called National Marijuana or Weed Day, which occurs every year on April 20. When parents and companies caught on to the fact that April 20 was Marijuana Day, they would carry out drug tests on their children or employees the following day. Employees who test positive for the substance might be at risk of losing their jobs.

This has become the subject of heated debates and advocacy groups for the legalization of marijuana argue against the unfairness of letting go of employees merely on the basis that they are marijuana users. This is especially so in states where marijuana use is legal. According to the outreach director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML,) a legal advocacy group: “Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and smoking off the clock because of obsolete employment practices.”

On the other side of the debate, legitimate reasons exist for the policy of surprise drug testing, such as the fact that workers in certain industries must never be under the influence of drugs while on the job because of the negative consequences that might occur. For instance, transportation workers who require total concentration, doctors and nurses who need to be clear-minded and focused. National Surprise Drug Test Day is a good avenue for discussion between both sides and an opportunity to provide information about drug use and abuse.

National Surprise Drug Test Day timeline

1971
The Military Drug Testing Begins

President Richard Nixon directs the military to begin urine drug testing for soldiers.

1974
The Establishment of a Government Agency

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is established.

1986
The Mandatory Workplace Drug Testing

President Ronald Reagan makes drug testing compulsory for federal employees.

1996
The Increase in Workplace Drug Testing

A poll conducted by the American Management Association reveals that 81% of employers subject their employees to drug tests.

National Surprise Drug Test Day FAQs

How far back does a drug test show?

There is no precise answer as this depends on the drug being tested for and the type of drug test used.

How is a person tested for drugs?

A drug test looks for the presence of illicit drugs in the urine, blood, saliva, sweat, and even hair.

What are the effects of drug abuse?

Some of the most common effects of drug abuse are a weak immune system, lung disease, liver damage, heart problems, or stroke.

How to Observe National Surprise Drug Test Day

  1. Share opinions on whether to test or not

    Open the floor for discussion on the topic at your workplace or school. Make room for healthy conversations on the merits and demerits of workplace drug testing.

  2. Say ‘no’ to drug addiction

    Hard drugs aren’t the only ones that can be abused or cause addiction. Stand against any form of drug abuse and addiction by educating people about its disastrous consequences.

  3. Spread awareness

    Teach others about this one-of-a-kind holiday. Share this on social media and use the hashtag #surprisedrugtestday.

5 Drugs That Are Illegal In The U.S.

  1. Marijuana

    Although marijuana, obtained from the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant, is legal in some states, it’s still criminalized in others.

  2. Cocaine

    Also known as ‘coke’ or ‘crack,’ cocaine is a recreational drug and euphoriant obtained from coca leaves.

  3. Heroin

    Obtained from morphine, heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug.

  4. Ecstasy

    Also known as ‘MDMA,’ it’s a recreational drug capable of causing hallucinations and leading to organ damage.

  5. Methamphetamine

    Meth is an addictive stimulant drug that creates a feeling of euphoria but leads to an alteration in brain function.

Why National Surprise Drug Test Day is Important

  1. It opens the door for discussion

    This holiday is important as it might be a way to create room for conversation, where people can respectfully air their opinions on the issue of drug testing. When problems are discussed, it helps us understand other people’s points of view.

  2. It creates awareness about drugs

    This day also creates awareness about illicit drug use and abuse. Instead of avoiding the discussion, we’re made to face it and do our part to address the problem.

  3. It’s a chance to educate

    Young adults and children are easily influenced into using illegal drugs. This day provides an opportunity to educate youth about the harmful effects of illegal drugs and prevent them from falling into the vice of drug abuse.

National Surprise Drug Test Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 21Friday
2024April 21Sunday
2025April 21Monday
2026April 21Tuesday
2027April 21Wednesday

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