Question: How do stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and
amphetamines supposedly “calm you down”, and are used as
anaesthetics at times?

part of the effect of calming you down is simply taking away the withdrawal symptoms from not having the drug for a whie. I always found coffee and nicotine very comforting, bur having given them up find caffeine in particular very stimulating.

cocaine acts as a local anesthetic by preventing the rapid influx of sodium ions into nerve axons, thus preventing the production of an action potential – the site of action is the sodium channels in the nerve membrane. (from ). However in the brain its hits certain neurotransmittors (dopamine or seratonine I think)

The following info may be of use:

I don’t have a good source that explains the mechanism behind the similar effects that can be caused by caffeine. scm1001 is also correct in noting that the calming effect is in part caused by alleviating the withdrawl symptoms. Overall, dopamine seems to be our main culprit. Hope that helps. :slight_smile: