The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration are teaming up to help area residents rid their homes of unwanted drugs.

The agencies will accept expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs on April 28 at the sheriff’s office, 3505 Pinehaven Drive in North Charleston. People can drop off their medications for disposal in the front lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said. The drugs will be carted away and disposed of by the DEA, he said.

The sheriff’s office has held similar events in the past with good response from the public, Brady said. The idea is to ride homes of potentially dangerous expired drugs and prevent pill abuse and theft, he said.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds — 188.5 tons — of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds — nearly 500 tons — of pills.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, Brady said. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, he said.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards, Brady said.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or